India is known for its rich diversity evident in its culture and customs within and across states. These differences spread over its traditional dress, food habits and language among many others. Off late, I have gotten thinking about my roots. I was born in Kerala the south western state of India but spent the most part of my childhood and all of schooling years in Muscat, Oman in the Middle East. Living in the Middle East and attending an Indian school adds its own unique blend to my life story. I did my college education in Tamil Nadu the south eastern state of India and worked in Delhi, North India for a while. After marriage, we have set up temporary base in the 'Gulf', working and raising family. For the most part of my life, I have been out of my home state. Being a Syrian Christian weaves its own thread of influence into the fabric of my life, which in some ways I was fortunately unaware of till marriage.
Were I to base the roots of my identity on food habits and preparation, I would for the most part be a Syrian Christian Malayalee. If my permanent residence address, husband's ease of conversational language and choice of diet 😉determines my roots, then I would be a Tamilian. Though Malayalam is my mother tongue, it is unfortunate that I cannot read or write the language despite sporadic attempts to learn the alphabets. I fit the definition of a 'third culture kid' in many ways. I know there are far more complicated cases of third culture kids, nevertheless I have said enough about confusing identities.
In the midst of these thoughts swirling on my mind, I was reminded that my identity lies beyond earthly roots and the sifting sands of time. As a Christian, Jesus is my root and I remain in him. He is the solid foundation of my faith. Though many denominations and variations in expressions of faith have crossed my path, I am glad that the Jesus is the Vine and I am his branch. When my heart is disheartened with relationships that dole out conditional love, I rejoice and am eternally grateful to be rooted and grounded in God's unconditional love. Jesus is the root of my life that holds fast through every storm and heartbreaking upheaval of life. It is indeed fortunate that I need to fear no drought with his streams of living water that nourish my roots fixed in him.
Where does your identity connect to your roots? Will it hold fast through the storms of life?
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.”
Colossians 2:6-7 says Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Ephesians 3:16-19 That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God
Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree