It really is a "buzz" word in today's world... I mean, think of the synonyms: networked, linked, rooted, bonded, attached, meshed, integrated, united, consolidated... Just out of curiosity, I looked at a list of on-line synonyms - one site had 4 pages worth of equivalent words and expressions.
With synonyms such as networked, linked and plugged in, my thoughts immediately skewed towards the internet and the electric grid - particulary having access to both. But that is probably a function of the fact that I live in a place where I can never take either of those for granted as both disappear frequently, without warning and often for rather long stretches of time. That has been especially so as the school where I teach has been trying to facillitate on-line classes for a larger than normal number of students with frustratingly intermittent and and often insufficient connections to either... or... and sometimes both. It happened (at least only for a period of time) yesterday while students were taking final exams and teachers were trying to input grades to finish the marking period.
Even as I was thinking about that, though, the Lord brought to mind a favorite photo... the tree above... taken on a plateau outside of town. Although striking to me, it really isn't a remarkable photo - I didn't even bother to photo shop out the black plastic bag trash laying around. But living on the the backside of the desert has taught me to appreciate the large, majestic, spreading, healthy trees like this. It means they are rooted, deep and firm, to a source of water, of life. As a young seedling, a tree's most critical "job" is growing a tap root down, to find and tap into that source of water so that during the months and months of dry, it can continue to live, to grow, to thrive... to produce fruit... to provide shade and shelter...
God uses this same picture in Psalms 1, when referring to the righteous man: "And he shall be like a tree."
But this morning, the Spirit connected me to another verse... Colossians 2:6-9:
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him,
having been firmly rooted
and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,
just as you were instructed,
and overflowing with gratitude.
See to it that no one
takes you captive
through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elementary principles of the world,
rather than according to Christ.(NASB)
Being firmly rooted, connected to the Source and Sustainer of All He has created... devouring His Word, deciding to be thankful, dependent on His Spirit, devoted to His children, directed towards His work... Its opposite is incarceration. Actively forging this connection protects me from capture and captivity.
That, too, is a powerful image in such times as these, in this desert land where my family lives...
Rightly connected is not just important. It is far more than mere survival. It is liberty...
......................................................................................(Note: I cheated a bit on this one - it took me a few minutes longer as I looked up the verses that I wanted to include... oops!)