Now that it is fall and we are thinking about bringing in the crops and garden produce I thought we could consider the parallels between harvest and life. Ancient scripture has provided us with specific laws to help us make wise and healthy choices.
1. We reap only what has been sown - We cannot expect a crop to grow without it being seeded. There is an expression that states "There is no free lunch" and that applies to all aspects of life including farming. You cannot expect to have a crop if you haven't bothered to plant any seeds
2. We reap the same in kind as what we sow - Each seed package has information about what type of plant will grow from what is inside. When we plant wheat we can expect a wheat crop - not tomatoes. When we plant trees we don't expect that lettuce will grow. It is the same with our actions. Whatever we seed we will reap as a harvest.
3. We reap in a different season than when we sowed - We live in a rather impulsive society that doesn't have much patience. Growing good crops, however, takes time. We plant and then we wait until maturity is evident.
4. We reap more than we sow - The beauty of farming and gardening is that the harvest is much more bountiful than the size of the seeds that we used to begin the process. A tiny acorn can become a gigantic oak tree. A pumpkin seed holds the potential of producing a twenty pound pumpkin. A small idea can turn into a miracle!
5. We reap in proportion to what we sow - This has to do with faith. If we hold back and think of all the reasons why a crop might not appear or do well then we lose the opportunity to have as big a crop as could have otherwise grown. Sometimes we want guarantees but there aren't any guarantees in farming or in life. Planting seed requires trust. Plant one acre and hope for a one-acre crop. Plant several sections and hope for several sections of crop. It is the same in life. If you don't do anything then you shouldn't expect anything. The more you do, the more you get.
6. We reap a full harvest only if we persevere - During the growing season there are things that can harm the crop so we need to be aware and protect it. Spraying will kill the weeds and putting up fences will keep animals out of the field. In life we also need to protect our dreams, relationships and health from the things that would threaten or destroy them.
7. We reap this year's harvest - We can't do anything about last year. The past is the past! We cannot let problems from last year affect our efforts for today. We need to keep doing the things that will result in a good harvest in the future.
If we take the laws of the harvest and apply them to our personal lives we have a good template. When we are facing problems it is good to go back and think about what we sowed. Perhaps we had planted negativity or irresponsibility, meanness or sloth. Maybe we just didn't plant enough seeds or didn't protect them. Perhaps we allowed others to scatter weed seeds in our field and the weeds choked out the good plants.
Well, here is a good news. It is never too late to begin a new crop! You can start over. It will take patience and planning and wisdom but in time you will be able to reap a bountiful harvest! There is always a time for planting new seed.