Thinking Like a Farmer
Tomorrow is the first day of fall (autumn), and it is harvest time for most crops. I love the fall season with the air turning cooler, and the leaves changing colors. Growing up on an apple orchard, fall was a very busy time for us as the apples were ready to harvest, and we had a short window of opportunity to get them all picked before frost sets in. One of the difficulties we face in our technology driven age is the fact that we’ve lost our sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with the seasons, we have become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. As a result, we have our priorities out of balance. Let me illustrate what I mean.
Although it was a little different being raised on an apple orchard, for a typical farmer, springtime and harvest are his most active times. It’s then when he must work around the clock, up before the sun and still toiling at the stroke of midnight. He must keep his equipment running at full capacity because he has but a small window of time for the planting and, later in the year, harvesting of his crop. Eventually winter comes when there is less for him to do to keep him busy.
There is a lesson here. Learn to use the seasons of life. Decide when to pour it on and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things ride. It’s easy to keep going from nine to five year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities and cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons, lest you lose sight of value and substance. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
In every season of your life, take advantage of the opportunity to develop personally so that you can impact the lives of others most effectively. The more time you invest in growing yourself, the greater harvest you will have in your own life. The basic principle of planting and harvesting holds true in all aspects of life. 2 Corinthians 9:6 encourages, “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”