Now that I have hit sixty (and I don’t mean mph), I have lived long enough to see a few harvests. If you are reading this and you are in your teens or twenties or thirties, consider what you are diligently planting, because when you hit your forties and fifties, a harvest starts rolling in.
For example, if you have been sowing a whole lot of low-grade discontent, you’ll be reaping a harvest of misery. If you’ve been picking on your kids for a decade, you will see them disappear over the horizon. If you’ve been complaining to your husband for two decades, you might see him disappear over the horizon as well.
We see a harvest on both the physical level as well as the spiritual. Women who have been trying to look twenty in their thirties and thirty in their forties reap a harvest of looking like day-old donuts. Stale. (My husband says that the only thing worse than a day-old donut is a day-old donut with a fake tan and hoop earrings.) Women who have been sowing idleness and slovenliness start looking neglected and rejected. None of this happens overnight. It takes years of diligent seed-sowing.
What our culture calls a mid-life crisis is a sort of harvest. You know what I mean. Like the men who suddenly grow their hair out long and buy flashy sports cars and start cruising down Main. Or women who feel useless and rack up large credit card debts. This is often when marital infidelity happens, and I don’t mean just the men. Marriages fritz.
Now don’t quit reading this post because you think I’m being so very pessimistic. I’m just saying that the things we do, the habits we cultivate day-in and day-out are like seeds. They germinate. They grow, and they produce a crop. So consider what you are planting. What kind of seed have you been sowing in your field?
If we are planting faithfulness and sacrifice, the harvest is peace and joy. If we are cultivating a gentle and quiet and meek spirit, we will have a beautiful crop to put in the barn some day. So what’s sprouting in your field right now? Respectfulness, kindness, gratitude? Envy, bitterness, self-centeredness?
Consider some of the older women you know. Your mother, for example. What have they planted and what kind of crop has come in so far? Take note. Learn from the older women, both those with a good crop and those with a failed crop. Cranky old women didn’t wake up cranky on their seventieth birthday. They were cranky about lots of things for many years, and by the time they hit seventy, they had a whole lot more to be cranky about.
Ask God to give your field a look over, and ask the Holy Spirit to identify the bad seeds that have gotten into the crop. Then pray that He will help you get rid of those so you can turn your attention to planting the good stuff, things like kindness and gratitude. Shove some of that seed into the ground each day.
God does wonders. He receives us and cleanses us. He is willing to forgive and overlook our failed crops. He graciously uses our repentance and faith to produce a new crop. We put the seed in the ground, and He brings about the increase.