Here is an article I wrote for the “Editor’s Corner” section of the PCC Scroll.
Washington is one of the few states which has ocean, mountain and desert topography. As you cross the state, the landscape changes. On the east side of the state, a lot of crops are grown. The state is the leading producer in the nation of commodities like apples, hops, concord grapes, sweet cherries and blueberries, and a top producer of commodities like potatoes, apricots, nectarines and lentils. In terms of dollar value, hay is a top export. There is something about the soil here that produces a type of hay that contains one of the highest levels of nutrients in the world.
While there are a lot of commodities that grow here, there is an equally long list of commodities that will not survive in our climate. The care, climate and soil needed to grow a commodity like apples is different than what is needed to grow mangos. And even in the same climate, farmers treat different crops uniquely. The way hay is cared for and harvested is different than the way apples are cared for and picked, or potatoes are cared for and extracted.
In the natural, the climate determines what can grow there and certain soil contains better nutrients. In some cases, nutrients can be added. The same is true in the spiritual. If you want your unique harvest to grow and be fruitful, you have to make sure you are planted in the correct environment and that you are receiving the right nutrients to produce exceptional fruit.
Like the fruits and vegetables in nature, our talents and gifts vary, so we have to refine the processes for optimal growth. This takes times. If you are a writer, surround yourself in communities that support your talent, so you can grow and harvest your gift. If you are a musician or singer, attend workshops that help refine your craft, so you can harvest your talent.
The concept of sowing and reaping is found throughout the Bible. What you put out there, will come back. In the NIV, Galatians 6:7 puts it like this, “A man reaps what he sows.” When I was coming up, this was a scripture that was constantly shared as a dire warning against bad behavior. As an adult, I had to reclaim the positive side of that scripture. Like the wheat farmer talked about in “Word of the Quarter,” I have to plant and care for my harvest from seed to plant. If there is a goal I want to achieve, I have to sow into that goal. If I want something from God, I have to sow into it. If there is something I want from life, I have to work and sow into it.
I think that many of us have already sown heavily into our gifts. I believe that many of us are taking the time to care for what we have planted. I believe for many of us the time for harvesting is around the corner, and so we must be prepared. Our harvests will be unique and collectively powerful to behold.