WHAT IS YOUR HARVEST?
I love this time of year. Stacks of bales of hay and straw in the fields, trees turning to gold and russet, and still some warmth in the air. Churches and village fairs showing off the very best of local produce. And on a personal note, the chance to stop taking the tablets for hayfever for a few months! It’s a reminder of the circle of life, and perhaps an echo of the days when whole village communities worked together to bring in the harvest; I’ve heard there are still informal arrangements between local farmers who share expensive machinery, and on a smaller scale, neighbours who ‘just pick something up’ for each other on trips to the supermarket. But not everyone who lives and works here is a farmer. What is our harvest? I read a story recently, that I’d like to share with you. It’s a story from the Native Americans.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy. ‘It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.’ He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person too.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf will win?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’
Farmers know that to produce a good harvest, they have to plant the right seeds, and then feed them; extra water if the weather is dry, fertilizer at the right time and in the right amount for the condition of the soil. How are we looking after ourselves, and each other, by putting our effort into taking the time for those things that give us joy, practising the habit of being patient with others, giving ourselves the space for a time of peace? As we rush through another term, or time back at work after the holidays, or simply the busyness of everyday living, let’s make sure we are feeding the important things in life.
‘The Spirit, on the other hand, brings a harvest of love, joy, peace; patience towards others, kindness, benevolence;’ Galatians 5:22Helen Hooley
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