Most of the carrots in our garden grew side by side. Not these two. They grew together, one wrapping itself around the other.
Two distinct tops were visible above the ground. The roots at the bottom were also separately defined.
At some point during their growth, the shapes were altered as they became entwined and no longer individual. The result is you can’t take them apart without breaking at least one.
There have been times I’ve aligned myself closely to another whom I admired. Subtly my individuality disappeared as I attempted to mold myself into the other person’s shape.
Other times I have been flattered by the attention of someone else and allowed them to grow into my space, altering both of us.
Neither case was healthy. It is not possible to carry on this way without feeling stifled. Unfortunately, the move to separate causes injury or brokenness for one if not both.
Supporting one another does not mean losing the traits that make me who I am. Growing alongside and learning from another while still maintaining independence is what makes me stronger and healthier.
I read a quote that said, “Be yourself before you forget who you really are.” That is advice I plan on taking!
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland
I was walking along a wooded path when I noticed mushrooms growing off to the side. There were some very large mushrooms and others that had curly edges.
What captured my interest was a grouping of several small ones. Although there was space for them to spread out, they were tightly packed in a small group. Their shape became altered as they grew together.
I stopped to have a closer look and then continued on, but the image of these mushrooms growing together stayed with me. I wondered if there was a deeper meaning I needed to pay attention to.
I think perhaps they represented community to me. A community offers support, encouragement and nurturing. This is something that is reciprocal. Being together in this way creates a positive atmosphere in which to grow.
The people who I spend my time with can definitely affect my shape. It is up to me whether this will be positive or negative. For this reason, I need to choose carefully.
Jesus took a group of men and discipled or mentored them, changing their lives in profound ways. Many times in the bible we are given instruction to gather together, love and encourage each other. By doing so I am forming the community he wants for me. This growing together will shape me into so much more than I would have been on my own.
We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. (Hebrews 10:24-25 GWT )