Have you ever wondered what “flips the switch”? I mean, what makes a “good” person suddenly go “bad”? It is an age-old question. What makes a middle-aged man, trade in his SUV for a motorcycle and a 20-year-old? What makes a woman, raised in a good home, successful in her chosen career, end up in a sober living house?
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
How often do we judge the “outside” of the tree without knowing about the health of its root system? It is the same with people. Because they have no roots - strong, healthy roots to hold them steady - they are unable to withstand the heat and the drought of life. The pain, sorrow, unspoken longings, missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams are just too much to bear. We think because they have obtained the solidity of middle age or the accolades of a successful career that their roots are healthy.
The world (and the Church) is full of people whose “roots” are not deep. They are not being nourished by God, His Word, and His peoples’ discipleship. Their roots are only on the surface and they are filling up on the “junk food” of pop culture, secular solutions, and world-view wisdom. The “if it feels good” group and the “narcissistic-selfie” society rule with their easy to reach, low hanging fruit. These ideologies run along the surface like easy pickings – because they are easier. Going deep isn’t easy. Digging down, staying strong, withstanding the hard times – not easy.
People of faith must TRUST the Lord. We must live a life that bears fruit. Not for ourselves but for our Lord. That may not look like what the flesh-man desires. It may not look like what the world tells us we should desire. If we want roots and fruit, we have to trust Him. We have to know that the seduction of the middle-age crazies, the trappings of the perfect career, the house, the car, the work-out - all the stuff that is "easy" might not be providing what we need to be steadfast in His calling.
So, maybe the “switch” was never really “flipped”. It was never on in the first place.