It’s that time of year when stores are turning over their inventory to Spring and Summer items. Supplies to grow things and seed packets are on display everywhere. I passed this display in a local retailer and it made me think about a time when people only ate what they grew. They only survived if they planted in Spring, nurtured and harvested in Summer, canned or ‘put up’ after harvest. When Fall and Winter arrived, if you had not planned ahead you went without.
It is a powerful lesson in life, the life cycle of food. If you do not plant then you do not reap, and as a result you do not eat. So the planning ahead, planting and growing are a survival plan for the entire family. Everyone should work all summer to ensure the crop comes in. Everyone needs to help harvest it before it spoils in the field. And everyone enjoys the nutritious and hearty meals for months to come. Understanding the reason for this kind of hard work makes a dramatic impression on children as they grow into adults. The connection between hard work and a reward seems obvious yet there is not always that connection.
When we lose the connection between work and reward, we become complacent. We find ourselves lacking motivation as the work no longer matters, or matters less and less over time. We can get by without working as hard because there is no recognizable reward for what we complete. When we can buy the food we need somewhere else, why work so hard to grow our own food? Let someone else do the work, we will buy their products and be able to work less. It is a great system, until we demand to pay less and less for the same amount of work, product or service. We want value and yet we no longer value those who actually do the work. Eventually we want someone else to do the work, and we want to reap the benefits of that work at a discount.
Sow the seed you want to reap in the future. If you want to be treated with grace in old age, then sow kindness in your youth. If you want prosperity in life, then sow generosity. If you want trust, then give your own trust away. If you want to learn something new, then give your own knowledge away. We reap what we sow, no matter the topic or garden…so sow wisely. The work will be worth it, and you will reap the rewards at just the right time.