Yep…there it is. A Square watermelon. It’s not photo-shopped or manipulated. An actual watermelon that is square shaped. If you asked 100 people to describe the shape of a watermelon, you would be hard pressed to find one that would say square. But again…here it is.
Yep…it’s square. Now if you are like me, something just feels wrong about it. More than likely, if you saw this in your local grocery store, you would keep on walking. It looks abnormal. And because the outside is abnormal, I’m not sure I can trust what’s on the inside.
The question you are now probably asking yourself is how and why are these watermelons square?
Well let’s deal with the WHY, first. Square watermelons are quite common in Japan. The average grocery store in Japan is much smaller than the ones we have here in America. Because of the popularity of watermelons, Japanese grocers were wanting to keep them stocked but their odd/unique shapes were difficult, with limited space, to keep stocked . As a result, the farmers began to develop a way to grow the watermelon into its square shape.
Now for the HOW. It’s actually quite simple. They allowed it to grow naturally…but inside of a box. As the watermelon grew, it would take on the shape of the box in which it was placed. This, of course, made the Japanese grocers happy because they were able to stock a higher number of watermelons.
That sounds great, and so far nothing really wrong with the story so far, but there’s more. The cost of the average normal watermelon is the equivalent of about $15 US dollars. The average cost of a square watermelon? Oh, only the equivalent of $82 US dollars.
The Moral of the Story
You were created as a unique individual. You are the only you that there will ever be. But the world would love to put you in a box. Not because it is better for you, but because it is convenient. Rather than allowing you to become who God created you to be, you get placed in a box. For many the box looks like this:
- Go to college
- Get a degree
- Get a good steady job
- Retire from steady job after 40 years
For others the box might be that you make music that sounds like what is on the radio. Use the same beats or chords, same lyric structure and hope to get a deal with a major label.
Still others may have a box that tells them to design clothes that look like everything else on the racks. Use the safe colors, materials, etc. and maybe you’ll sell a few pieces here and there.
Whatever the box looks like to you, the end goal is to cause you to fit in and become convenient for everyone else. It is imperative that you do not allow others to place you in a box for their convenience, but that you become the person God created you to be. The Bible puts it this way in Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The second thing is this…it costs you more to fit inside of the box that someone else created for you. Some of you have gone to college, racked up thousands of dollars in debt studying something for which you don’t have passion. So now, you have wasted money on one thing and are miserable in it. And to pursue what you should have chased in the first place is going to cost you more. But if you simply pursued the purpose that God has for you in the first place, you wouldn’t have to repeat steps.
So the question is…are you a square watermelon? Have you been placed in a box and allowed it to limit who you were designed to be? The challenge to you this week is to break out of the box and grow into the person that God had in mind when He created you.
But here’s the thing…it is not enough to think/step outside the box. You must also destroy the box so that it will never again limit you.
Be the best you that you can be. Not the next square watermelon.