Inspirational & Motivational

Getting to the Root of the Problem



Ever wonder where the saying came from, “Getting to the root of the problem”? Well, I found out the really hard messy way. I had this outside drain that was clogged. Actually I had three of them to clear, but the most stubborn one was full of roots. Waste water run-off from the rain could not get through. NC has had tropical style rainstorms for months now. The water would stop up and then flood my studio. I had used a smaller plumber’s snake that went in about 10 feet, thinking that would get out whatever was stuck. It cleared about 5 to 10 feet. I ran water through it. I pulled out small bunches of leaves and more to no avail. The water then flowed for a few moments before stopping up again once it reached the blockage about ten feet down.
My drainage pipe is at least fifty feet long. I had approached a small, visible portion of the issue.
Problems in our lives have roots also. We can do what I did and have a go at the surface. We can look at the symptom and just work with it until we get rid of that symptom—only to have other problem surface, much to our surprise. We can go all around the root. But the problems keep resurfacing. We keep getting stuck as long as its root is secretly submerged in a deep, dark place.

Finally, I rented a–guess what? A rooter. A fifty foot electric, metal snake that has heads that drill, cut, twist and grab, and clear.
Getting at the root is the answer. The root is not the same as the symptom but our own stinkin’ thinkin.’ Perhaps we can justify our stinkin’ thinkin’ from our past and keep experiencing hurts, habits, hangups. But that will not be enough for transformation and true change. We must keep digging deeper and deeper.
I took a picture of the eight-foot long root that had twists and tangles with smaller roots and dirt that formed a solid obstruction to free flowing water. The water had to go somewhere, so it flowed like a river flooding straight into the studio, wetting everything in its path. Like our issues or hangups.
Yes. Unblock the tangles and allow the water of life to flow.
Even more surprising once the root was eliminated, I was able to see the origin of the problem.
The end drain was submerged in a drainage ditch common here in North Carolina, where unless continually cut down and cleaned out many volunteer plants grow. Trees and bushes line the back acre on the other side of the ditch, so their roots easily entered the end pipe in the drainage ditch and freely grew through the pipe from back to front.
I had been looking for the problem from its front, which I could most easily see. And I assumed the origin of the problem stemmed from the water running down the driveway carrying leaves and debris. Eventually a plant took root in there and grew into a monster that choked the passageway.
Rooting out the problem may entail changing the entire system or the entire way we go about something. Ah ha. I eliminate one major problem or blockage; yet, major transformation will be the only long lasting solution. July 21, 2016

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