“Where’re you from?” I felt like I needed an answer, and “Texas” was as close as I could get. But it wasn’t true. My parents were from Texas. I didn’t know where I was from. The only place we had was where Boeing assigned my dad, and that turned out to be plural, not singular. I was not alone in that. Most of my peers in the suburbs were like me – they had wheels, not roots.
“Where’re you from?” Now I answer, “Richmond, Virginia.” I’ve never felt so quickly at home anywhere I’ve ever lived. Even after being here four years, there is still a delight for me in being here. Maybe at the ripe old age of 55, a fellow who learned young how to roll, is finally learning how to root.
Both skills are useful in life, for God directs us toward each at various times. The scripture recounts multiple occasions of each for our instruction. For example, God rooted his long-transient people in a land of their own. And Jesus uprooted his disciples, who left their nets to follow the one who had no place to lay his head.
It’s well to ponder such stories, for over the course of our lives we have multiple occasions for both rolling and rooting. These play out geographically, vocationally, relationally, congregationally, etc. For most of us one or the other tends to be more familiar, more comfortable. But God works in both ways, and is with us in both modes. And finally, even in this life, we begin to learn what we will fully know in the Kingdom, that our place is with him.