Putting down roots

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.
- Jeremiah 29:5

Jeremiah wanted his readers to be wholly committed to the place where God had placed them. They had lots of voices telling them that their season in Babylon, their season in exile would only be a short one. “Live out of your suitcase,” they heard and wanted to hear.

No one wants to hear that their time in exile is going to be a lifetime. The people who received Jeremiah’s letter would spend 70 years living in exile. But they didn’t know that when they first arrived.

Very few of us will ever actually live in exile. Many of us, however, will have times in our lives when we’re tempted to live out of our suitcases. Putting down roots feels like hard work. We don’t want to do it until we’re sure that the place we are is the place God wants us to be.

Accepting your season of life and adjusting to it requires a bit of artistry and a bit of discernment. There’s not a “right” way to do it. There’s not a definite signal that now is the time to settle down. We don’t get letters from prophets telling us to knuckle down in this job, this relationship, this neighborhood, or this church.

We live in a keep-your-options-open society. Commitment scares us. Settling down feels like settling. But God has a purpose for us, a reason he placed us where he placed us. When we refuse to fully commit, we miss out on the blessing of being fully present, fully engaged, and fully included in God’s wonderful work.

Where do you find yourself halfway committed? Where do you think God might be calling you to fully commit?

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