For residents in most parts of the United States and Canada, we all welcome spring after a long, challenging winter season. However, like most difficult struggles in life, when they pass, we all reach a greater level of appreciation for a warm spring or a more comfortable season of life. As springtime begins to slowly creep its way into our days, we hear more birds chirping, the sun shines a little longer, and we all seem a bit more hopeful during this change of season.
As we continue to build and strengthen our character, the coming of spring is one of the most encouraging times of the year. The coming of spring reminds us of the one fundamental natural law that most directly translates into a relevant, practical, and universal pathway of truth to accomplish our hopes and dreams: The Law of the Harvest; simply, you reap what you sow.
The law of the harvest is the most simple and most powerful life transforming principle. Ironically, it is also the one that we need a consistent, steady reminder of its simplicity and power during the twists and turns of our life’s journey.
The law of the harvest, in the natural world, is as true as the law of gravity. If we want to reap an abundant harvest of corn or cotton in the fall, there is only one pathway to follow: The Law of the Harvest. If we asked any farmer 2,000 years ago or one today in the fields of Iowa, we would get the same general response; There are no shortcuts to an abundant harvest. We must spend time in the winter to make a plan, make decisions, and make preparations to implement when the spring comes. In the spring, we must prepare the ground and plant the seed. In addition, throughout the spring and summer, we must cultivate the fields through a long growing season. Then, and only then, will we reap an abundant harvest in the fall.
There is no way to take a short cut. We cannot vacation in the spring and summer and then jam an entire growing season into September. There is no way to pay for the “Speed Pass” lane on the farm and there is no “Easy” button. The natural law of the harvest will always be our judge. Just like the law of gravity governs our eventual return to the ground no matter how high we jump, the law of the harvest governs our ability to produce our most essential food sources for life. In addition, the law of the harvest governs our ability to accomplish our most personal hopes and dreams.
If we want healthy relationships with those closest to us, the law of the harvest will be our judge. Did we make a plan and decide to act? Are we planting seeds and are we continuing to water, weed, and monitor progress? If we are not, we will not reap the harvest of a healthy relationship. There is no short cut to building a healthy relationship. A nice gift of chocolates, spending one night in good conversation, or occasionally relieving a loved one of doing some undesired, but necessary chore will help momentarily. However, if there is not a consistent effort applied to cultivate the relationship throughout the seasons of life, the relationship will not have the lasting health to reap an abundant harvest.
Also, in the workplace, there is no short cut to effective leadership. Intentional planning, decisions, and actions must be consistently applied. The character of a leader must be seen consistently over time. Employees don’t give their full engagement to the cause of the organization because of one great motivational speech or one great leadership retreat. Employees get engaged when they see their leaders consistently setting the example, engaging them in their efforts, and supporting them to achieve their piece of the organization’s objectives.
Furthermore, in our own personal development, the law of the harvest will always be our most steady path to lasting growth and accomplishment. If we want a more fulfilling career path, then we need to be intentional about making a plan and working the plan. If we are expecting someone in “management” to come and spoon feed us a fulfilling career plan, we may be waiting for a long time. If we want to maintain our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, we need to make the plan and work the plan. Lasting health is built over time. It is not an overnight success.
Despite our annual expectation of an abundant harvest based on the law of the harvest, there is the occasion when it just does not work out. Sometimes that storm hits and hail or heavy rains ruin a season of planting despite our best efforts to adhere to the natural law. Similarly in our personal lives, we can be living consistently according to the law of the harvest in our relationships at home and at work, and someday, someone will walk in and say, “I am done and I want out.”
Just as on the farm and in our own lives, we do our best to keep moving forward through an unforeseen tragedy and we persevere with our own unique ways of coping through the upcoming winter season. Then, with the return of the next spring, we have another season of opportunity to start again and more often than not, the law of harvest will go our way in the next season on the farm and in our lives.
If you missed your chance on a New Year’s resolution to make a change, I would encourage you to use this spring and the reminder of the law of the harvest, to plant some new seeds, cultivate them throughout the spring and summer, and fully expect an abundant harvest in the fall. This time of year, with the freshness of spring, has always seemed to me to be a better time to start something new than a dreary, dark January anyway.
Let this spring be a season of opportunity to support and encourage our efforts to apply the law of the harvest to achieve our goals. As we become intentional about living according to the law of the harvest, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to achieve our goals no matter what our present circumstance.