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You Must Have Roots to Provide Shade

In his book Sensing Jesus, Zack Eswine shares about a time of intense busyness and over-commitment. Many people tried to get his attention, but he refused to listen until he received a very special letter that finally changed his life. Zack writes:

[An older mentor named Bill told me], "Zack, your life is like a five-alarm fire. You are coming and going in so many directions. I worry about you."
One of my bosses echoed the same sentiment ten years later. "You are doing so many different things," she said. "We are afraid you are going to burn out. We want you around here for a long time, so pace yourself, okay?"
Her voice was soon joined by others'. Two colleagues invited me to lunch. Another called on the phone. "We are worried about you," they said.
Then I received a letter. It was the old-fashioned kind of letter with a stamp on the envelope. The words were written by hand with a pen. I opened it and heard my mom's voice as I read. She too must have heard the alarm. "Son," she wrote, "a tree has to have roots to provide shade.

Possible Preaching Angles: Busyness, Prayer, Rest, Spiritual Disciplines—Eswine says he learned the following lesson: "Shade is hard to give when roots remain shallow." In other words, when we don't have deep roots in God's love, when we don't abide in Christ, we won't be able to provide the kind of compassion and care that truly ministers to others.

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