Ann Farabee: The harvest
Several years ago, Mr. Farabee decided it was time for a garden. I tagged along to watch and provide words of wisdom. He selected an area in our front yard and got to work. (Yes, the front yard.)
The garden didn’t just appear, nor was it free. A price had to be paid. Work had to be done: Prepare the soil. Plant the seeds. Fertilize. Water. Weed. Time, attention, and love had to be given.
The garden was checked on frequently to ensure there was nothing that needed to be done to make it even more perfect. Our spirits were only slightly dampened on those days we spied a little rottenness, and had to figure out how to get rid of it.
Sometimes, friends stopped by to share gardening wisdom. Sometimes rest was needed or vacation time arrived. Friends helped then, too.
Yes, the garden was a lot of work, but we felt it was worth it, because we knew the harvest would come.
Ecclesiastes 3:2 was encouraging: There is a time to plant and a time to harvest.
The word harvest is a noun and a verb that means the ripened crops that have been gathered – and the gathering of ripened crops. We harvest our harvest.
My most joyous moments in the gardening process came when my 5 year old grandson would come to visit. He would always wear his red rain boots and head straight to work, trudging through the garden helping Papaw. I am not sure what his specific tasks were, but he always got very dirty and quite wet, so he must have been working hard. When finished, he would run and show me his harvest that had been carefully placed in a basket.
That harvest! We love it. We live for it. We long for it. We labor for it. Harvest days are the culmination of a job well done. Our prayers we have faithfully prayed are answered. It is our reward – our payday – our victories. Oh, how we savor those moments and want them to last forever!
It has been a year since the gardening experience when the little guy wore those boots faithfully and made sure he showed up ready to work. The boots, the basket, the harvest. How he loved bringing me that harvest – or so I thought!
It took me by surprise one day recently, when he walked by our garden location and said, “I like to work in the garden.” He began sharing those memories – every detail of the work he had done – but not once did he mention the harvest – the results of his gardening. He just liked doing the work alongside Papaw.
Through the eyes of a child, I began to internalize some amazing truths – that I should enjoy the process – the work – AND the progress – the harvest! If I choose to just be happy at harvest time, I sure am missing out on a lot of happiness during that season of planting. Small daily actions lead to a big harvest, but sometimes the small daily actions are the big harvest.
My conversation with a wise little boy brought Ecclesiastes 3:13 to mind, where we are told that we are to enjoy the good of all our labor. It is the gift of God.
And may we always remember the promise in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that God will make EVERY THING beautiful in his time – the times of planting and the times of the harvest.
*EVERY THING MEANS EVERY THING.
Enjoy it all, my friends. Enjoy it all.
Ann Farabee, writer, teacher, and speaker, has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contact her at email@example.com or visit annfarabee.com