Friday, October 25, 2013

Thoughts from a Corn Maze

On-line version of Newsletter Cover Article: Volume 1 Issue 1:
First of all, let me inform all of our on-line readers about the new monthly CCS Newsletter made possible by one of our school families and the advertisers, writers, and photographers represented in each edition. This post is an amplified version of the cover article of the November newsletter. Whenever possible, I will post an on-line version of my newsletter article with links [click on underlined text], additional photos, cross-references, etc.

maze2013On a beautiful Saturday back in October, my wife and I took our children and grandchildren to Lewis Farms in New Era.  Among the thousands of guests on those sprawling 700 acres of fall fun, we typically see lots of CCS friends each time we go. The corn maze shown below is one of their big attractions.

If you find yourself In a corn maze this fall, take time to stop and smell the roses—okay, okay… there are typically no roses in a corn maze but I guess what I mean is time to be aMAZED by God’s design in the corn. For instance, did you know that the number of rows on an ear of corn may vary (average is 16) but it will always be an even number? For the purpose of this article, however, I want you to direct your attention to the roots of a corn stalk.

What you see in this picture are called “brace roots.” They develop well after the stalk of corn has emerged from the soil. As you walk through the corn maze you’ll see that the corn is from 8 feet to 10 feet high and yet the stalk is roughly the width of a broom handle. How can millions of cornstalks (more than a million per 40 acres) stand so tall with all that weight and those broad leaves like sails in the wind? The answer is brace roots.

 God designed corn to grow brace roots that function the same way man-made braces prop up a palm tree in hurricane season.The brace roots on a stalk of corn are not the main part of the root system—not the main source of nourishment to the plant. That root system is below the brace roots as seen in the illustration below:

I know some of you may be thinking: “So you mean to tell me you were out in a corn maze with your family and grandchildren and you took time to think about all this corn stuff?” And the answer is yes. I had never paid any attention to the “brace roots” of corn before this past Saturday, but I’ve been thinking and writing about roots lately so these brace roots jumped out at me.

Metaphorically speaking, our roots keep us grounded, they nourish us, they reach deep to find moisture between needed rains, they keep things around us from falling apart (erosion of soil. Colossians says Christ literally holds all things together.), and as seen with the brace roots of corn, they help us stand tall against adversity.

The Bible has much to say about roots and healthy plants and bad plants and pruning and good soil and standing firm “like trees planted by the rivers of living waters.” I’ve barely touched on the subject in these thoughts and pictures, but the real purpose of these thoughts from the corn maze is to introduce the small booklet that will be enclosed in next month's newsletter.
It’s called “Roots around Rock: Teaching toward Ideals in a Less Than Ideal World.” I’d be honored if you’d read that booklet and perhaps share it with a friend. Extra copies will be in the literature rack at the school in December. Toward the end of that booklet, it says, "Ideals... are not just lofty words or feel-good maxims. They are not stepping stones conveniently placed along some garden walk. Ideals are immovable boulders deep in the ground, exposed over time in the grip of roots…and forever bound through the ages. They line the rugged, narrow path from where we are to where we know we ought to be as taught in Ancient Words proven true through centuries."

 We hope the booklet will help our community better understand what CCS means when we talk about “common ground” and being rooted in the things that matter most. It’s just a little booklet printed by the same CCS family that makes this newsletter possible, but the thoughts in it may help illustrate our goal of holding fast to the never-changing truth of God’s Word in an ever-changing world.

Tom Kapanka
CCS Administrator

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