Friday, September 16, 2016
Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 259: Today, I am grateful for the harvest.
The harvest has begun all around us. The pumpkins have been rolling in for about a month, but the traditional grain harvest of the Midwest is here.
Farm wives are making meals (and coffee breaks) and taking them to the field. Farm men, women and some teens are working ridiculous hours as the season is always shorter than you anticipate due to the weather. Farmers run full throttle between exhilarated...exasperated... and exhausted.
When you get behind a tractor pulling a wagon of grain or a combine... remember that the man in front of you is a part of the brotherhood (and sisterhood) that feeds the nation and beyond our borders. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and this is the season accidents happen. When they slow down you morning commute... use the time, inconvenient as it may be... to give thanks for the food, their safety and the abundance in our grocery stores. Most of us have no concept of true hunger, except by self-denial and usually in weight loss efforts.
The harvest is fast, furious and frustrating at times. Every day is wrought with choices. Where do we start? Do we run late, even though we are exhausted... for tomorrow the rain may come? Is it dry enough that the price will offset the drying cost? Wet grain has to be dried or it will spoil. Stress and breakdown distress is all part of the daily grind.
Speaking of "the daily grind"... a good pot of coffee is part of the fuel that gets them through. Keep the it coming! The coffee pot that has been on all day, thick and strong from sitting on the warmer... they still drink with gratitude.
Grandpa Lindgren had an old silver peculator that sat on the kitchen counter. What may have been tasty at 5am and decent at noon... was "put a little hair on your chest" strong by 5pm. It didn't matter. They still drank it. It was fuel. At that point, more like rocket fuel than my morning cup of comfort.
These are my people. My family, church family and friends who work the fields. I am grateful for them and the harvest in their hands, wagons and grain bins (those silver, squatty towers you see on farms across the Midwest). They are dirty, but the smell is more earthy than stinky. They smell of the blessings of the harvest. The thought makes me smile.
Grandpa Lindgren subscribed to Exodus 34:21. “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
Many do not take this instruction seriously today. Grandpa met Jesus with his conscious clear on this point. One of his first jobs as a farm hand was for a man that lived Exodus 34:21. Others around him called him the "lucky one". His crops survived when others around him failed. His cattle thrived when others struggled. The man explained to my young and impressionable Grandpa Harry that it was not luck. It was honoring the Lord.
Rest is key in a safe harvest. Rest saves lives. Honoring the Lord with a Sabbath (or not) is a personal decision. A choice. I am grateful for the values a wise man taught my grandpa back in the early 1920's. He passed them on to my Dad and Uncle.Values passed down from generation to generation. Blessings resulted.
My prayer today is for the men and women working the land. May God grant them safety and rest when they need it. Be patient with them on the country roads.
Today, I am grateful for the harvest... and God's instruction to rest.