My most favorite season of the year has arrived, Fall, or Autumn as some call it. For a few days we had some lovely Texas type Fall weather, but I see the heat has returned. Nonetheless, its Fall and I am a happy camper. I love the turning of the leaves, the foods we tend to savor at this time of year, the cooler mornings, and just the scent that seems to be in the air. Ok, as for scent, it might be that pumpkin spice latte I’m actually smelling.
I was born in the Fall of the year, maybe that’s why I love it so. Regardless of why I love the season, it is a great season for doing some reflection. We are heading toward the close of the year, that always gets me to thinking and reviewing what the year has been like.
Fall is the season we associate most with the harvest time. Pulling in the bountiful blessings we have cultivated and are now enjoying. Even stockpiling some of what we harvest for the leaner time to come in Winter.
Maybe we could use this harvest time to reflect on what we’ve produced for the year. I’m not talking about from our vegetable garden or from some livestock we’ve been tending. I’m thinking about what have we produced in our interactions with others? What, and where, to whom have we planted and cultivated the very nature of God?
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all planters. Each of us plant many seeds every day. Where we plant them, in whom we plant them, and what kind of seed we’ve planted might be a part of the reflection we do.
If you ever have an occasion to look at a field a farmer has planted you’ll notice right away the straight rows, the evenly spaced crop, very meticulous. Farmers honor consistency in their work. It makes for easier cultivating and harvesting.
What about when we plant our seeds? Are we meticulous in our work? Are we consistent? I ask this as I reflect on my own planting habits. Some days, I wake up in a great mood, everything is right with the world. Every place that I go, every person I meet, they all get to see the sunny side of me. I appear to go out of my way planting my seeds of happiness and joy. Kindness is overflowing at each furrow I happen upon. There are other days when exactly the opposite is true. I find myself absorbed in my own problems, my own sadness, the dark side of my mood. Its on these days I plant very few seeds, if any, and then only sparingly. The rows in my field would not look very good to a farmer. I wonder how they look to God?
This Fall I want to take a real good hard look at how I’ve been doing my planting and cultivation. I already know the consistency isn’t present, I can see the many places where I sowed lots of seeds, but I also see all the vacant ground in the row. When inspecting my rows, I don’t find the uniformity there either. My rows are all askew. They wander from one place to another. If my rows were uniform, I’d notice each place I’d been, each person I came in contact with, they all got the very best of me I could offer.
Harvest time is a real telling time. The hard labor, the sweat and effort put in, it all shows up at the harvest. Granted there are many things a planter can’t control. A planter can’t account for the weather; too much heat, not enough sun, too much or too little rain, hail, wind. These are really out of the planter’s ability to moderate. On average though, the harvested crop will bear some resemblance to the hard work put in.
As I look at my harvest, I can see there’s a lot more work I could be doing and improving on. I want to endeavor to plant my seeds of love, kindness, grace, mercy, forgiveness with more consistency and uniformity. I want my harvest to reflect the very best of me, and hopefully the result will be a full larder.
I pray for a great harvest this Fall for each of us. I pray God will work in and through us that we might bear God’s image to each person we meet, in every place and circumstance. I pray when our last harvest is pulled in, it will reflect a life lived so that others were able to blossom and produce.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,