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Manketti Tree

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Manketti Tree

Revolworks

When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.
— Horatio Spatford, "It Is Well With My Soul"

Matthew 6:25-34
Hebrews 5:11-14
Psalm 1
 

In the deserts of Africa, little vegetation grows. A harsh climate of arid conditions and sweltering temperatures makes survival nearly impossible for anything other than some scraggly shrubbery.

Yet, in this veritable wasteland, a species of tree does manage to eek out an existence: the Manketti tree. These trees grow strong and enduring across the windswept savannas of Chad, Mali, Niger and Uganda. They spread their far-reaching limbs that produce white flowering blooms and mongongo nut, one of the most essential nuts of socioeconomic and nutritive importance in that region of Africa.

Beyond the visible portion of the tree-the stout trunk and widely splayed limbs-the sustainability of the Manketti exists in the extent of its root system. Unlike many trees in more kind and lush climates, the Manketti's root system does not extend to occupy a vast surface area. Instead, it grows one long taproot that plunges deep into the earth until it reaches water. When drought persists, the tree still survives.

It is rooted in something deeper and survives on something more than the fickle nature of daily precipitation.

Our lives bring difficulties: friends fail us; the reality that elements of our lives lie beyond our control; stresses and tensions that press in from all angles. Our family members fail to understand us, and we misunderstand them regularly. We realize that jobs never fully satisfy, and even the most appealing ones provide their fair share of drudgery. The paradoxes continue when fun proves completely un-fun, and things meant to bring rest bring anxiety.

We look to a variety of things to rain sustenance and survival. We demand continued supply and thus grow our roots near the surface to glean from the fickle waters that fall from the sky. But what if these rains never come? What if they skip a day? Or a week? Or a month?

The truth is this: We depend on the undependable.

Unless we plunge our taproots into deep streams that nourish despite the changes in the everyday, our existence will depend on the fickle nature of uncontrollable. We will wither when life does not satisfy. Our green leaves will turn a brittle brown when friends fail and family misunderstands.

Our failures will translate to death unless we are rooted in something deeper.

In what am I rooted?
Where do I find my sustenance?
How can I deepen my roots?
 

© Revolworks 2007