But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13

Soldiers at Iwo JimaDuring his Marine Infantry Officer Training, my son passed a critical field test. This field test was unique in that each man had to complete the approximately eighteen hours alone. They were not allowed to ask for directions or help or ask the Captain of a particular check point to rephrase his instructions. Each obstacle and challenge had to be successfully completed without any assistance. And there were very few indicators given to the men as to how well or poorly they were doing. It was only at the end when the names of who did not pass were read that anyone dared give a sigh of relief.

I asked my son if the rest of the training would be done in isolation like this. He responded, “Oh no. There is no way we’ll ever make it through the next twelve weeks or a battle without help from each other. This was just to test us individually so we know we can do it on our own if we are ever separated from our unit. But now we must be one cohesive team of Marines.” And he added, “The goal is to never be separated from your unit.”

That got me thinking. How often do I get separated from my unit (those within my circle)? And how often am I the one who chooses to be separated? How often do I make the choice to do life alone? How often do I make the choice to back away from someone so they have to do life alone?

We are not meant to be separated from those around us and go at life alone.

God designed us to embrace life with others.

It may be a phone call or letter to someone. Or it may be a quick hug before AWANA starts. Or it may be walking a dog or feeding a cat. Or it may just be hanging out together. However God shows you to do life with others, just do it! I know some of God’s directions may seem scary, but usually those are the most rewarding when we step out and do them.