I’m a minister, and we all know what Wendell Berry thinks of people in my vocation. We’re careerists, careening from church to church. We just don’t care enough about the places we’re called to. I suppose he’s right, to a degree. But it begs the question. Yes, many of us blindly take our cues from mega-church pastors a thousand miles away, but the ladies in our churches often take their cues from a pastor who’s been dead for thirty years. And when a congregation turns on you, your best hope is to get out of Dodge as fast as you can. This can discourage the putting down of roots.
What does it mean to put down roots anyway? Does it mean buying a house? Shopping at farmers’ markets? Scolding yourself when you feel the urge to run?
After thinking about it a while I’ve concluded it means what the metaphor implies: it means drawing nourishment from the place where you’re planted.
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