Rarely do I notice the roots of a tree unless my feet stumble over them. I may notice the way branches above me cut across the sky as I pull out of my driveway. I may sit with my children in the shade or pick apples at an orchard with them in early autumn. I may roll a newly fallen leaf between my fingers. But most of the time I walk unaware right over the roots, the hidden life of every tree that makes everything else—branches, shade, fruit, and leaves—possible at all.
In the same way, it is often the obvious and tangible accomplishments of our days that get most of our attention. Noticing the roots, much less tending to them, seems secondary when there are branches to climb and fruit to pick. We live for what is right in front of us while God is ever so gently calling us toward the unseen. His unseen.
We come alive in the unseen.
We were made for it.
We are formed in it.
I’d spent most of my twenties with a similar lack of awareness in my relationship with God. Noticing and tending to my roots—my inner and hidden life with God—seemed secondary when there were important ministry branches to climb and spiritual fruit to produce and pick. So I focused all my time and energy on branches and fruit, while God was ever so gently inviting me to back to the soil. To hide in him rather than perform for him—to shift my attention from branches to roots, from my visible work for God to my unseen life in God.
Sara Hagerty is the author of the forthcoming book Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed as well as Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet. Learn more at SaraHagerty.net, on Twitter at @SaraHagerty, and Instragram at @SaraHagertyWrites. Adapted from Unseen by Sara Hagerty. Copyright © 2017 by Sara Hagerty. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com. All rights reserved.