This concept of “remaining” is among the most challenging for me, a Wind/Fire, to write about, because I have little natural understanding of the value of staying in one place. Recently I calculated that I have lived in seventeen different houses in ten different cities. I move around a lot, attributing it to many things, including my desire for constant stimulation mixed with solitude.
However, as I think about it now, I really owe my life and my sanity to those people who remained in one place … my parents who stayed in one home for thirty-seven years, allowing me a constant and steady neighborhood of friends.
Here’s what Jesus thought about the topic. Count how many times the word remain is mentioned. Clearly it is a topic he felt strongly about.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.
Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete.
—John 15:4–11 (NET)”
When you remain in one place, you can put down roots. When you remain in one place, you can concentrate on growing in three directions at once; down into the soil to strengthen you against the winds that come, up into the sky to stretch and grow, and around and around as your influence expands.
How have you remained? With your family? With friends? With God? How have you stayed present, even if you wanted to run?
What if there’s a situation where you can’t remain? How many times have you taken what ‘remained’ and transplanted it for more growth?
Live. Breathe. Joy. ~ Laurie Beth