Each morning while I walk Riley, our dog, I’ve been snapping photos of fall foliage. This year the colors are more saturated and vibrant than they’ve been in a long time. Walking just over the rise, I come to a vineyard veritably overflowing with grapes. On my way there I pass cherry trees, blackberry bushes and random thorny berry bushes that I have no idea what they are. None of it is really manicured except for the cherry trees and grapes. The rest just kind of grows wild. Somehow, walking in those places I relax. Life is happening all around without asking me to do anything but enjoy what began years ago. And whoever it was that planted these seeds, they had no way of knowing what would eventually come to be.
It’s both a sobering and freeing thought.
How often I believe that it is my effort which brings the best result in whatever work I am trying to do. But really that’s not true. The best harvest comes when I fling my seed and then forget about it.
Remember Mark 4? “God’s kingdom is like a seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it” (verses 26-27 MSG).
Hard to do sometimes. Ok. Most of the time.
Maybe it’s because those seeds we fling matter to us. The harvest they will bring represents how we will be able to live…what the experience of life will be. And we so badly want life to go a certain way. We get so afraid that if we don’t make sure that the seed has every chance to make it, that no one else will watch over it, protect it, nourish it and grow it. How often I have felt myself and heard my friends say, “I get so tired of it being all up to me.”
And yet…it isn’t.
Perhaps the great invitation coming into harvest is to let go of the idea that it’s all up to us.
I wonder what happens inside you as you read those words? As I sit with them, protest words like “But you don’t understand…” pass through my mind. Resistance rises in my heart. Negotiations come next: “Ok, so if I just…” As if there is no Living Water to nourish my seeds. No Father longing with me in all that my seeds represent. No Creator Redeemer tirelessly at work bringing life and reassurance where I least expect it. No invested Protector watching for that which would destroy a seedling’s growth. As if…
It’s quite an invitation…to trust.
“And when the grain is fully formed…he reaps” (Mark 4:29 MSG).
May the Lord, the Master Gardner of our souls, give us grace to let Him grow our seeds and grace to wait for the harvest He will bring.