It’s that time of year again here in Manitoba…harvest time! Dust is rising from the fields and grain is filling up the bins. Harvest season is intense – busy, exciting and stressful all at the same time. Long hours of hard work reward farmers with the results of the growing season. Though we aren’t farmers, we live on a corner of my brother-in-law’s land and the crops grow right up to the edge of our yard, so we get a close-up view. Every August my husband takes some holiday time to help drive the combine, and I’ve had the privilege of riding along and watching. And as I watch the harvest coming in, I reflect on my own harvest.
Harvest Time Can Be the Hardest Time
Measuring the harvest in our personal lives is never as clear as harvesting grain from a field of wheat. Speaking of measuring, my youngest son grew a lot this summer (he’s almost six feet tall), yet he was convinced he hadn’t grown at all! Like my son, I don’t see my own growth clearly. When I measure myself against society’s expectations or compare myself with others, I always come up short. It’s easy to feel like I haven’t accomplished enough, or wonder why I am not more mature (I naively thought insecurity and self-doubt would be over by now 😂)! But what if we measure our lives by the seeds we plant rather than the judging the harvest?
Love Keeps Sowing
We live in a world that values visible, measurable results: productivity over process, charisma over character. Planting isn’t as exciting as harvest and it often goes unacknowledged. Seeds are so tiny they seem insignificant. And they take a long time to grow. We want to know that our seeds matter. So when it comes to relationships, sometimes we turn people into projects, expecting them to change (according to our timetable) in order to validate our investment in them. Especially as parents, it’s easy to judge ourselves based on our kids (or others’) choices (“mom guilt”, anybody?). And in evangelical Christianity, we prefer church numbers over inner transformation that we can’t see or measure. But love always plants without expecting a return. It’s an act of faith. We sow the seeds, trusting God to bring the harvest. Even when nothing seems to be growing, love keeps sowing.
The Hope of Harvest
We may not be farmers, but we all plant seeds. So when you feel discouraged and it feels like nothing’s growing, think of it this way: Love’s harvest is so GREAT, that it takes generations to grow! And the good news is, every seed we plant will reap a harvest, even if we don’t see it. It’s going to take time, but even after we’re gone, the seeds we plant will continue to grow for generations! So let’s not discount the power of a seed. Every little moment that we listen, encourage, or help someone, every smile, every prayer…every choice matters. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)