about writing and life and God

Tomorrow’s harvest

on August 6, 2013

August used to be my favourite month. Back home in the far north of Scotland, it was harvest time and at night, the huge northern sky was dominated by the vivid orange of the harvest moon.

Farmers down here in East Anglia are currently busy in the fields, getting in their crops, and I got to thinking about harvest — our harvest. In my morning reading, I found this: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

This morning I went to a funeral — the funeral of a much-loved and well-lived 92-year-old. His widow of close on 65 years sat on the front row and listened to the lovely eulogies. And I thought, “He had a harvest of fruitfulness to bring to the Lord. I have how many years left? What kind of harvest can I bring?”

I’m not very impressed with the harvest so far! I feel I’ve wasted a lot of time and maybe even more opportunities! But so long as we have breath, we have opportunity to be fruitful. But it depends on what we sow.

The Galatians reading goes on to say: “The one who sows to his flesh [his lower nature]  will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

Sow your wild oats in the field of sexual misconduct, or drugs, or alcohol, sow purely in your own selfish interests, sow materialism and consumerism, escapism and pleasure at any cost, and the final harvest isn’t going to be sweet and good and lovely. The short-term one might not be so good either!

Choose the harder path — of love for and service to others, of self-control and putting self further down the queue, putting God and your neighbour first — and… Well, often we don’t see an immediate harvest. And we can get fed up seeing the apparently careless and godless prospering while we struggle on doing what we believe is right.

There was a walnut tree in the garden of my last house. And squirrels. So one year I found an ‘accidental’ seedling — produced by some winter-wise squirrel carefully burying a nut — and then forgetting it, so it sprouted. I popped it into a pot and forgot all about it too. I didn’t bring it with me to the new house but I know it would have been a long while before it started to produce walnuts!

Walnut growing on the tree

Walnut growing on the tree

Some sowing takes a long time before there’s any reaping. It’s important not to lose heart. Back to Galatians 6: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

I’m thinking I need to be conscious of what I’m sowing today for tomorrow’s harvest. I want a good one! I think I need to make some changes in my life, be more thoughtful about how I spend my time — which suddenly has become much more precious. I don’t want to waste any more!



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