Do you ever consider what it means to be connected to life? Do you ever stop to think about where life comes from and what actually sustains you in each and every moment?
I think these are questions that I typically take for granted as I flow through the motions of my day to day experience. I forget that life is so precious, and that it isn’t something that I can control. Instead, it is a gift—given to me with great intention and for a unique purpose. And to forget that, is to ever-so-gradually detach myself from the source of it all.
I did some prenatal yoga this morning, and while in tree pose, the instructor commented on how this pose was an excellent depiction of the current relationship between me and my baby. Just as a tree relies on the earth to provide nutrients and life through its strong, steady root system, the child growing inside of me relies on me to provide nutrients and life to her through my body.
I didn’t think much of it until around half an hour later when I sat down for my morning quiet time and read John 15:1-17. This passage talks about how Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. He is our life source, and if we become disconnected from him, our “branch” will wither and die. As I read these words—words which I have read a million times before—I immediately saw the connection between this picture of Jesus as the vine who gives me life and the picture of myself as the tree that gives life to my baby.
For 40 weeks, a mother carries a baby so that he or she can grow and develop and receive life-giving nutrients, all while within the protective shell of the mother’s womb. Without the mother, the baby cannot survive because there would be no source of life to connect to and to draw from.
This picture brought the vine and the branches analogy into a new light for me this morning, as I realized my utter need for and dependence upon my own life-source: Jesus. I am such a self-sufficient person and I constantly try to exert my independence and do everything on my own. But imagine if, throughout this pregnancy, my baby girl tried to cut herself off from the nutrients and life that I am giving her and attempted to survive on her own! That would be a disaster.
And so it is when I try to navigate life in my own way, on my own time, and detached from the vine who gives my branch life. There is no life outside of the source. And nothing could be more dangerous or disastrous for me than to find myself detached.
But it happens subtly sometimes. It can happen quietly and secretly, without my even noticing. Too long without that much needed quiet time to ground me… too long making my own decisions and attempting to control my own world without those intentional moments of surrender to the one who is truly in control… and suddenly I can find myself detached, unprotected, and gasping for air.
And so I need to be reminded of what it means to be connected to life.
And just as my baby girl inside of me is relying on me right now to ensure that she has what she needs to stay alive—just as she is embracing the safety and comfort of her environment, protected within my womb—so I need to surrender and rely wholly on Jesus, my source of life and my protector. The one who is in control. The one who provides for my every need. The one who cares for me and nurtures me, in ways that I cannot even detect or fathom.
To be connected to life is to be connected to him.