Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More of the Harvest

It's harvest time. For those who do not live in agrarian cultures-- you city dwellers, beach dwellers, busy students and office workers-- that means something. It really means something more than a nice Christian way of saying Halloween is here. Let me share a little of the epiphany I received about it in my robe and slippers yesterday.

You see in Denver in mid-October we often get our first snow. No matter how much I want to cling to summer or even fall, the white stuff comes and puts an exclamation point on the fact that the season has changed. My husband finished removing the shade fabric over our patio just as the flakes were starting to come down. You could feel the temperature drop with them. I was quickly reminded of the rest of the plants that I wanted to bring inside to keep from freezing. This has been a two week process and round one happened when I hauled in the geraniums and water plants when it turned cold. Now I had to decide what else I had room for. That was easy--nothing! But I had been inspired to create at least 10 succulent and rock gardens after returning from CA in early September. I couldn't stand to think of them shivering covered in snow. After I made a place for them (sort of) near the window of the living room, I caught sight of my herbs and tomatoes and blooming chrysanthemums. What would a heavy blanket of wet snow do to them?

Not taking time to put on real shoes and a jacket, I went outside in my bedroom shoes and robe to gather blossoms, herbs, and (heavy) containers of succulents. They say "don't run with scissors", but I was moving pretty fast around the yard and back inside as my hands filled up. On my third trip I wised up and took along a plastic grocery bag to carry the cut branches filled with little green and red cherry tomatoes. Thoughts of harvesting, reaping, abundance, and overflow became real to me in a new way. Even though my yard is small, there was more harvest than I could deal with. Abundance; overflow. I was processing on several levels at once. This very physical, natural picture was underscoring the personal prophetic words I have been told and was pondering. "The time is now for reaping, for harvest, for abundance, for overflow." I had heard it several times in the last months. Suddenly, as I felt my hands full and realized the results of the time and work and water and care I had given my garden, it came home to me.

When I get an epiphany, it causes me to ask more questions to try to understand more of what this picture and God are saying to me. It was so apparent I hadn't prepared for the harvest or that it was now that it had to be dealt with. I was dashing around in the snow in my slippers and robe. I wished I had help to gather in all the herbs and move the pots. I wasn't going to be able to gather it all. There was a harvest happening even though I had been focusing on the leaves turning color and falling off the trees. There was a natural result of all those hours of tending the garden, even if my attention was now elsewhere.I felt overwhelmed with the abundance and the feeling that I was only gathering a portion.

All the garden imagery of growing seasons and harvest times, preparation and provision for management of the harvest, etc., with so many parallels to the spiritual realm, bring questions. What is our harvest? What does God have for us? Do we know what to expect? What are we actually expecting from Him? How can we prepare for reaping all the harvest, not just a small portion? What does He say about it?

Can you see parallels in your own life? Do you have other questions? I have more thoughts to share later. For now--a few photos.


Blogger Susan said...

I am always optimistic about sowing, but somewhere along the way I lose steam and some things don't get planted. Others do, but not in their prime time.

As a result, I have about 27 tomato plants sitting in little pots on my kitchen counter. Little pots because they are little plants because I planted the seeds in, I think, August. It's when I finally got around to it (or a round tuit if you were born before the 70s.) I won't give up on them. I have plans for them (to borrow a line from somewhere in Jeremiah). Plans to prosper them and not to harm them. Not on purpose, anyway.

Those little tomato plants are representative of all the fine opportunities I've had to create, or assist, or be part of something wonderful. Only, these opportunities didn't grow very much. And since I still hang onto them, they remain before me in stunted form as a reminder of what can happen without proper focus.

My harvest time was missed because I didn't prepare for it. I had to be intentional about it, but I never got beyond the good intention.

The intention requires a step forward in action - not inaction. If I'm lucky, the process gets blessed, and then so do I. Sometimes I ask for the blessing before I begin the process, and that's when things turn out even better.

Other times, the blessing happens without me doing anything to deserve it. That is REAL abundance.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Susan, Thanks for the analogy of your little tomato plants. I agree that there has to be intention and action. For me, ideas come easily, but energy for follow through does not. Sometimes we can help a lot by encouraging each other, praying for each other, and maybe even working together. It can be fun in the process. Remember when our Tuesday group planted herb gardens together? How many of us would have one if we hadn't done that?

11:50 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

You're right. We accomplish more with each others encouragement. We also experience more, and more fully.

Gotta get back to Tuesdays ...

9:23 PM  

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