Alex Haley, a black man from Tennessee, had a passion for tracing his family’s history back in time. He wrote the book “Roots” about finding an ancestor of his who was kidnapped from the African jungle and brought on a slave ship to America. The book was very powerful and caused many to want to understand their own “roots” and trace the line of their ancestors back in time.
Have you ever tried to trace your own “roots” back in time? Have you researched your genealogy? Draw a picture of your family tree to share with your partners. Describe any key family figures who influenced yourself or your family. What is unique about your family?
What kinds of mementos do you or your family have, that help you understand your roots? Are there photos, quilts, dishes, letters, books, clothes or other items that keep important family memories alive? For example, my husband’s family has a special quilt from the Civil War, made from a Confederate flag, that is passed down from the eldest daughter in each generation to the eldest daughter in the next generation. Tell a story that goes with a memento in your family. Who will keep the memento in future generations?
Have you moved around much in your life? Do you have roots in certain places – a city, a school, a house? Where have you taken root? How difficult is it for you to take root when you move or make changes? How do your own roots affect the person that you are today? Does it take a lot of time for you to take root in a new environment, city or country? Give an example.
The roots of plants ca be a living symbol of our family roots. The roots of plants also give us a picture of how individual people, like a plant, need to have a good root system to live and grow under changing conditions. Here is a picture of such roots from the Psalms:
“Oh the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God: But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night, are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.
They are like trees along a river bank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.”
****Do you have a root system that feeds your character or spiritual life? What is it?