I was in Orlando Florida last week, presenting some new software I’d been working on at a large tradeshow, when something I saw totally captivated me.
One morning, the group of us was following the masses toward the conference center entrance to get our badges scanned. It was a gorgeous day, and I was looking around, enjoying the surrounding beauty when I spied the most amazing plants.
These plants lined the front of the conference center. As I walked, I noticed that these plants would grow along the gound, sprouting above-ground roots that would slither out in all directions attempting to find nourishment from their surroundings. Apparently, at some point, they’d find a sufficient source of nutrients, and the plant would be strong enough to start growing upward.
And then I came to this one.
I was captivated. But it wasn’t the novelty that captivated me as much as it was the apparent symbolism.
This was the only plant of its kind. It grew straight up. Rather than sulking along the ground, seeking nourishment, one of its tendrils had found a large, neighboring palm. It had then wrapped its root around this tree multiple times, giving it direction, strength, and protection that the others lacked.
Before I was befuddled with the frantic nature of the tradeshow, I had a brief moment to reflect upon the message this plant had to offer me.
In life, some people choose to “go it alone”. Sometimes that choice is forced upon you, and you find yourself scrambling for nourishment (spiritual, emotional, or otherwise). In either case, it’s a constant struggle for the most meager upward gains, and you end up spending much time and effort moving on a more lateral course, constantly reaching out in every way to find support and strength.
But we have been provided pillars of strength, and we should wrap ourselves around them. By so doing, they provide us direction, strength and protection that ensure our upward growth.
For each of us those pillars may differ. Sometimes it’s a close friend who somehow seems so grounded, or whose testimony is so sound. Sometimes it’s a religious leader. Sometimes it’s a family member. Someitmes it’s something inanimate, like the scriptures. Often, it’s the Savior.
But whoever or whatever you find, keep them close. Wrap yourself around them, and let them give you strength.
The physical principle of gravity, that objects of lesser mass are pulled toward objects of greater mass, has a spiritual shadow. If you surround yourself by those people, places, and things that are of greater spiritual strength than you, you’ll be naturally pulled upward by them. But be careful, for the opposite is also true.
May each of us find our pillars of strength, and wrap ourselves around them.
(click image below for large view)