The signs of fall are in full swing. From weather and wardrobe changes, to my one of guilty pleasures, fall decorations (I break for earth tones). And what is fall without the ever popular, you either love it or hate it, Starbucks PSL (not a fan, #chaitealatterocks!)
Pulpit sermons about harvest season are usually associated with reaping, or gathering tangible possessions (i.e., financial increase, a new job, a new home, a new car, new relationships). While there is certainly nothing wrong with embracing any of the aforementioned, it is important to consider and evaluate areas of personal harvest which are not necessarily intangible, but are undoubtedly internal. The importance of gathering from our spiritual, emotional, and mental harvest should not be ignored.
Before any type of harvest can ever be gathered, some type of seed had to be previously planted. For example, after planting sunflower seeds, beautiful, bright yellow flowers can be displayed in a vase for visual enjoyment after approximately 2 to 4 months. Conversely, several years ago, my Panamanian father planted mango seeds in the back yard. Two whole years had passed before he and my mother were able to enjoy their harvest of freshly picked mangoes. Here’s a quick gem that should not be ignored; the time-frame between seedtime and harvest involves numerous variables. Don’t begrudge a slow germination of your own seed when you see your sister gathering in her harvest.
“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life”. Galatians 6:7-8
With 3-months remaining in 2017, the question on the table is this; “What seeds have you planted this year?” Since I am unable to answer this question for you, I’ll share my answer. For me, across the board, the answer is authenticity.
Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally I have planted seeds of authenticity. Spiritually, I began the process of stripping my faith of the rules, laws, traditions, and the insane amount of money that church demanded…without God ever co-signing, and started being honest about where I was with God versus who I was in the church. Emotionally, I began to own my feelings, all of the them! Newsflash to Nikki: some life stuff and some people in life, including yourself, will just flat out piss you off (upset you tremendously) for those who…well, you know who you are.
I decided to authentically own and express said feelings in various ways, writing included; because at the end of the day God can handle ALL of my emotions (thank you David). So to all you even-keeled, nothing floats my boat, rainbows & cotton candy, everyday feeling blessed and highly favored, super-saved Christians, keep doing the darn thing! I’m more than grateful to take my emotions; the ups, the downs, the happy, the sad, the clarity of mind and the confused, to an omniscient, loving God, who also happens to be the very one who created me. Mentally, I started planting positive, self-empowering seeds. These are seeds that support the “I can do…” declaration in Paul’s scripture “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). I had to begin planting seeds that would drown out my internal dialogue that constantly insists I am not enough.
With all of this authenticity planted, I am embracing a bountiful harvest of weight-free living. Am I where I desire to be? Nah, not even close! Am I proud of being bold and brave enough to get dirty, ruin my spiritual manicure, do some digging, and plant my own seeds instead of continuing to plant seeds tossed to me by others? Ab-so-lute-ly! So by all means, celebrate if you were blessed with a new job this year. Purchase some Mary J. Blige worthy shades and drive your new car in style. But, when you get home, be sure to take some time to ask yourself, “What seeds have I planted this year?” “What has my harvest yielded?”
“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” ~ Eckhart
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