Ephesians 3 includes these lines, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. For whatever reasons this has me thinking about the long game of the life of faith (and life in general, I suppose.) To be filled up with the knowledge and fullness of God, to be loved so completely that freedom is the posture of every day and love is the power of every interaction with those I encounter…sounds great.
Of course the Holy Spirit must work in us for this to come to fruition, to cover the gap between where I am today and where I hope to be in the future, and yet at the same time one of the ways the Spirit works in us is by giving us the desire to pray, worship, and study. There is a Holy nudge involved, it tells us to read the bible or devotional, it suggests names of people and situations we might pray about, it brings charitable causes to our awareness. Sometimes we listen and obey, other times we do not. Part of the challenge is that each of those actions feels small and in and of itself not likely to build up to much of importance.
I imagine this is sort of what fishermen thought as they caught all the cod back in the day, no catch could matter that much, could it? Or the trees on Easter Island which could never all be cut down, could they? Sometimes we look at a vast project and the little steps seem too inconsequential to matter. The little steps really do add up, just ask a marathoner (to switch metaphors mid paragraph in an effort to get more upbeat:). When the primary consideration is too short sighted we will never get going on what we must do. When we look at the vast landscape of our sin and separation from God, of the gap between who we are and who we want to be, it can be like looking at the swarms of fish and thinking we can never really make a difference or looking at the 42.2km of the marathon and thinking no way.
Here’s the thing, if our primary goal is to become so grounded in the very love of God we have no option but to start where we are and to take that first step. For some of us it will mean refraining from something, as the fisherman eventually had to do. For others, it will mean pro-actively taking control of even a few minutes of our days to invest them into a new practice.
What practices might help you to be rooted and grounded in love?
Whatever they are, accept the long-game-nature of it all and get started even if the first step is a little as eating one vegetable today or smoking one less cigarette, or—you know—something religious in nature;) I promise you will be amazed what weeks and months and even years of practice can amount to.