Lessons from Harvest Season

We are in the harvest season. Most mornings right now, I begin my day by putting on my mud boots, grabbing a basket, clippers, and bug spray, and walking out to the field just behind our house. There we have planted a wonderland of vegetables – peppers, okra, zucchini, squash, beans, peas, cucumbers, carrots, beets, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, and herbs. These mornings, at the height of the harvest, I fill my basket to overflowing.

This morning ritual reminds me that life is designed with “abundance” in mind. Living in harmony with nature, we can grow crops without chemicals, harvest them ourselves, and trust that each morning, something will have bloomed for our nourishment and delight. 

It’s been many years since I have been able to garden this way, fully attuned and present throughout the season. I was always too busy flying to this city, speaking at that conference, meeting with those people. I was going, going, going. Now, grounded because of COVID, I am wondering how much of life I missed. How much beauty did I fail to see? How many years did I lose myself to doing over being?

One of my favorite passages from the New Testament comes from Matthew 6:26-34. I love the way The Message translation says it so plainly: 

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to God than birds….Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think God will attend to you, take pride in you, do God’s best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way God works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how God works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

Good advice for an abundant life! As we journey through harvest season, my invitation to you is to look for abundance. Pay attention to the way people show up for you, nature provides for you, justice comes through for you, grace is offered to you. It’s easy to see the times of scarcity and failure. But for now, let’s see what is also true – the harvest is plentiful and open to you. 

We are in this together,


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