Body & Soul: Harvest
by Theresa Rowe
As a child I can remember making my bed and cleaning up my room without the prompting of my parents. In fact, when my parents would leave stacks of papers sitting around on the counter, the clutter would stimulate my neatness muscle and the stuff would be thrown away or hidden in an empty drawer. Those early seeds have reached maturity and now I never leave the house without; putting away the dishes, hanging up the clothes and straightening all the pillows on the chairs. Some would call this obsessive compulsive but I’m really just a neat freak. I would be terribly embarrassed to leave my house a mess and then be surprised with unexpected guests. I may be a little obsessive about maintaining order in my home but the discipline required has been a major blessing, especially when helping motivate others to reach their goals.
Our tidy home offers picturesque views from nearly every window in the house. When we built our home three years ago, we agreed upon a French country style, with big picture windows, to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife that frequent our farm. Knowing myself too well, I now question my logic of including so many big windows. The view is breath taking but when the sun hits the glass that neatness muscle begins to twitch, and my peaceful serenity is interrupted. Finally, just prior to a large gathering at our home, I decided to hire a professional window cleaning service to make the view sparkle. Their cleaning skills passed my inspection and the windows would be absolutely beautiful for the event.
Isn’t nature funny? Those seeds planted on our farm early this spring were ready for harvest. As I drove up our gravel driveway a few days later, I noticed the young farmer had harvested the corn in the field behind our house. I slowed to watch the deer and wild turkey feasting on the corn that was left behind. As I carried arm loads of groceries into the kitchen, I noticed my windows were back to dusty and streaked. I thought to myself, “Get over it, this is country living and the windows will only look good if you clean them daily.” There is a limit to my freakiness.
Putting away my groceries and neatly organizing the canned goods in the pantry, I began to think about the harvest and my windows. I began to put things in proper perspective and realized having clean windows is not what is most important. Nurturing the seed from planting to harvest requires diligence and constant care. Most important is the young farmer willing to take the risk and plant the seed.
Two young mothers in my class at Owensboro Christian Church began their harvest in January. Their seed was the decision to commit to gaining more strength and endurance during the year through exercise. Dry spells and tough conditions did not deter these committed workers from attending class four to five times per week. Both of these ladies have small children who come with them to the recreation center and enjoy the company of other children in the daycare. These two ladies have experienced a bountiful harvest of lost weight, high energy levels and enthusiastic attitudes. Everyone in the class is encouraged by their discipline and dedication to building a strong healthy temple.
Truthfully, my perspective about life and the windows changed earlier in the day at the grocery. Reflecting back on my shopping experience, I knew God had spoken to me about saying a word of encouragement to the clerk checking out my groceries. At the time I debated on whether or not God was actually speaking to me. The line behind me was quite long, with several anxious people, and my groceries were overflowing the conveyor belt. What would I say to her? I opted to not say anything and then explain it to God on the way home. I told God that I would speak to her the next time and that will probably be tomorrow because I am in the store nearly every day.
Turning on the Christian radio station in my car the host read Matthew 9:37-38, which says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.” The verse hit me right in the heart. I should have been obedient to God about speaking to the young lady. Seeing the image of her face, she did look distraught and I did sense she needed encouragement. I began to weep at the missed opportunity and asked God to forgive me for dropping the ball.
Back in the store, I quickly notice her lane was open and I sprinted into position. With the belt jam-packed with groceries, I looked up into the big brown eyes of the young lady and asked God for the right words. I leaned over my groceries and began speaking words of encouragement to her. I asked to her forgive me for delaying God’s message. Her eyes brightened and she said, “I really needed to hear that today, thank you.” She explained the happenings in her personal life and that she had received good news this very day. We both shared God’s goodness and how He always delivers His messages at the right time.
Driving up our driveway I looked at the harvested land and my dusty windows and couldn’t help but laugh. Maybe I’ll write a sign into my dirty windows, “Harvesters needed, applications being accepted with God.”
About the Author:
Theresa Rowe is a nationally certified fitness professional and a motivational wellness speaker for various groups including the National Day of Payer and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). She is the host of Shape Up, a fitness show for Time Warner cable television, and Shaped by Faith, a radio show that is heard throughout western Kentucky. She has produced three faith-based fitness DVD’s; Pilates for the Soul, Strength Training for the Seasoned Soul and her newest, Pilates Stability Ball. Theresa is also an author of Guideposts’ Shaped by Faith, ten secrets to strengthening your body and soul. You can find more information about Theresa on her Web site: www.shapedbyfaith.com.