I was searching for a special saying for a craft project when I re-read Tolkien’s limerick:
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
As a gardener in the northern portion of zone 5 I’ve seen the effects of a late frost. Several years ago a heavy frost hit in late May – unseasonably cold for even our area. The tomato and pepper plants curled up and died. The most amazing thing was to see how the frost hit the two large oak trees in my back yard. The frost hit the bottom one-third of the branches, curling the leaves, turning them black. The top two-thirds of the tree were green and full, the bottom looked like it was still winter. I was afraid that I’d lose the trees.
But, deep roots are not reached by the frost. It took several weeks, but eventually the tree recovered and looked like a normal oak tree – all of it.
That line of the poem took a different meaning last week as I studied my Sunday School lesson. Chip Ingram in his book Living on the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality, writes about the need for believers to see themselves accurately in light of scripture. He states, “I meet Christians who love God and who long to follow Him with all their heart, but it is apparent that they have no real understanding of who they are in Christ. Their relationship is based solely on their experiences with God, but often not deeply rooted in the foundational truths of who they are and what they actually possess as a child of God.” [emphasis added]
And so I thought about my own life. Do I have deep roots that can withstand the frost? Am I strong, now that I’m fast approaching ‘old’? (I don’t really want to wither.) Do I know who I am in Christ and do I live my life as a child of God should?
Like Mary, I think I’ll ponder these things in my heart.
And, once in a while, maybe I’ll even write about them.