The Hidden Harvest

I’m out in the rain in over-sized rain boots to dig around in the garden. I glance at the raspberry stalks. 

Nothing.

But then–because hope dies slowly–I venture deep inside the raspberry patch and stick my head underneath the wet stalks.  Tiny barbs on the stalks scratch my fingers, but I keep going. 

A hidden harvest greets me!

Ripe Raspberries Deep Within

Afraid they might disappear like some desert mirage, I frantically start gathering berries.  There’s too many to carry in my hands.  Hidden on the underside of every stalk, I find more and more. 

I return with a bowl and finish the work.  I’m amazed at this hidden harvest.  We feast until we’ve had our fill.  

The whole time, I’m wondering about this hidden harvest.  What harvest awaits, hidden from public view–from public consumption–because it’s a deeper, internal sort of fruit?   I think about all the quiet, hidden things I harvest from the Lord’s work in my life. I think of character traits like perseverance, humility, courage.  The world might not immediately see it, and it might not be obvious to anyone else. 

But I know I’m changing.

Living with flair means thanking God that He produces fruit in our lives of good character.  When there’s no obvious fruit on the vine, it just means the harvest might be internal–deep within–on the underside.

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Journal:  Has your character changed this year?   

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The Easiest Way to Persevere

There’s just too much to do.  That’s the problem today.  Most people have a threshold.  They can balance just so many plates in the air, and add just one more, and the whole operation comes crashing down.  Some of us respond with a paralysis and a moodiness that we can’t beat.  We are overwhelmed and stressed out.

I’m lying in my bed, and I think of what needs to be done today.  It’s huge.  It’s mammoth.  It’s impossible.  But then I remember one of the best coping mechanisms for that overwhelmed, stressed out, paralyzing, moody feeling of “I can’t do this.”

I think about tiny chores.  It’s a simple truth your own mother probably told you when you had to clean your room.  When the chores seem too much, you just break them apart into teeny, tiny chores. 

And they have to be tiny chores.  Remember, we are overwhelmed and stressed out.  We can’t tackle cleaning the basement, but we can clean this one inch of desk.  I need that small accomplishment as activation energy, as catalyst, as fuel.  Then, a reaction starts.  A glorious, vibrant one. 

So I start in the smallest division of my mammoth task as possible.  I do one inch, then the next inch, then the next and next and next.  You fold this one shirt.  You clean this one dish.  You study this one page.  You write this one sentence.

And soon you’ve written a dissertation.

I’m persevering through the day, and all of a sudden, the stress drains.  The finished tiny chore gives me a power that moves out in concentric circles like a stone I’ve thrown on the surface of the water.  I can do this next thing and then this one and that one. I’m inspired!  I’m energized! 

Perseverance is “steady persistence in spite of difficulty.” I don’t have to do everything right now. There’s difficulty here, opposition there. But I can do one inch and see what happens.  I can keep doing my inches, steadily.  It’s like starting to exercise.  You just put on your shoes and say you’ll go these few steps.  Maybe you’ll walk or run to the mailbox out front.  That’s good.  That’s the inch.  Later, you could run to the stop sign.  Next week, I won’t even be able to catch you. 

Do the inch.  Living with flair means I think of this task in terms of the inch

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