By Marina Rojas
Just the sound of the word brings a glorious world of color to mind. Fall leaves in every hue imaginable are decorating trees far and wide. Burnished red descendants of Johnny Appleseed seem to wink invitingly from underneath the sturdy tree branches when a slight breeze stirs them to movement. Golden ears of corn lined up in soldier-straight rows wave at passer-bys. Bright orange pumpkins sit hugged by emerald tendrils waiting for the exact moment when someone will lovingly hoist them from the damp earth.
In October, the whole world seems to be waiting for something. Clock watchers are waiting for the daylight hours to shorten. Sleepy old bears are waiting for winter to bring them to their hibernation. Farmers are waiting for a harvest of what they have sown to abundance.
With the world of nature slowing down in expectation of things to come, I look to the farmer's attentive watch over his harvest fields and stop to ask myself: What am I waiting for? What is my October anticipation?
As I think carefully, I find that I have experienced many October moments in my spiritual life. These are the times when I am sitting still, diligently watching for something sacred to spring forth from my attempts to scatter good seed. I think we can all say that we have the same desire in our hearts for Godís harvest in our life, but sometimes we can see that our heartís desire does not match the effort we make towards fulfillment of that divine realization.
I think my problem is I have really not taken note of all of the steps in the farmer's journey. I have failed to consider all of the energy he has devoted to his commitment, way before the coming harvest was even a thought. I have failed to see the long-suffering required to reach his goal. And, as the end of his wait for the fruition of all of his work draws near, I have failed to realize that he is already planning the next batch of seeds to be sown.
The farmer knows that October is a good time to plant crops that need to develop deep roots. Underneath the surface, the autumnal earth is much warmer than one would think. When combined with the heavy rainfall that comes sporadically in this month of harvest, new seeds benefit with a well watered, receptive home that lends itself to perfect germination.
As the farmer goes out to his fields to keep an eye on the plantingís progress, he will ready the heavy equipment, checking to make sure the tractor will be able to deeply plow the hard, unrelenting earth. The farmer will also line up the manpower that will be needed to bring in the crops. Then he will begin the steps that will be taken for the future plantings of the fields.
In taking a cue from the diligent farmer, we need to pull out our own heavy equipment (the Word of God) and ask the Lord to nurture the soil of our hearts for a rich cultivation. We need to seek out the needed manpower for completion of our harvest by turning to brothers and sisters in Christ who will help us connect to Godís calling for our life. Then we just wait as the Farmer of our Soul, the Holy Spirit, keeps His diligent watch on our impending ingathering, knowing that all the while He is making plans for our future sowing.
This October, let us be aware of the personal harvest that God has readying for us. Letís begin to develop deeper roots into His kingdom as we discover that the rainfall that happens in life is only a small part of an environment designed for our growth towards perfection.
This month, commit yourself to a stronger spiritual relationship with the Almighty God of the harvest. Taking even the simplest steps, like reading one Bible verse a day, can impact your life for eternity.
Make prayers dates with the Lover of your soul. Donít stand Him up! Heíll anxiously await you with open arms. Heíll envelope you with such warmth, while His living water will insure your growth towards being more like Christ.
Finally, make an effort in October to touch someone elseís life by planting seeds of hope into their heart. A single kind comment, an encouraging word or a simple invitation to join you at church could cause a spark to ignite a fire that would never be extinguished.
When you take steps like these to plant seeds, a new spiritual life will start to germinate inside the deep dark earth of the receiving heart, way out of sight of anyone human. But God will know what has been carefully planted, and He alone will know the appointed time for the seedling to break through the muddy layers of soil and burst into the beckoning sunlight of His love.
Now remember that October brings strong winds that blow, hard rains that fall (unmercifully sometimes) and thunderous storms that appear unannounced on the horizon. They all seem to be lashing out with a fury against the tiny seedlings of hope. Just know that during all the stormy weather, God will stand watch over the plantings with His confidence that our roots will go down deeply to help us hold on against all odds. Never forget that the God of the harvest is the same God who calms the storms.
During this glorious month of resplendent color, I encourage you to turn your heartís growth over to the Lord of Love. Wait diligently on His Word for an encouragement that will bring a great yield of abundant living to your spiritual farmland. In the meantime, plant some seeds for a future harvest of treasures stored up in heaven.
2004© Marina Rojas
An Irishman with a love of God and a penchant for humor, Marinaís life is devoted to her very own Ricky Ricardo-esque husband, 4 children, a daughter-in-law and grandson. Writing around her full time job with the State of California, Marina is published monthly in several ezines. http://www.realezsites.com/pers/marinaink/
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