There is a biblical precept that the harvest produces a good crop when the seed falls on good soil and this presupposes someone is working hard with the seed. This principle is not a difficult one to grasp. The Proverbs speak of the ant and their work rate while the slovenly achieves nothing.
I once heard a commentator say, that the harder I work, the more lucky I become. Indeed, how much efforts one puts in, there is a direct and counterbalancing outcome, all things being equal, such as good planning, thorough research, good people around you, and the like.
I have a neighbour; they are a couple in their early 60's. They migrated to Australia to live with their daughter. They are retired, but it doesn't mean they have nothing to do. In the weekdays when their daughter goes out to work, they also go for their work – planting and maintaining their lovely garden. Their vegetable output is something else.
I know this as the company where I work is not far from where I live. I leave home around 8.40 am to get to work. But, no matter the weather – sunshine or raining - my neighbours carry out their gardening work at 8.00am.
I notice their first task is to clean the vegetables leaves in the garden. They remove any weed. Their garden is always full with corps – and without weeds. And then they place additional fresh garden soil into the garden. They tend their garden with loving care. They constantly plant new seeds in the soil (depending in the season and therefore the vegetable).
Now sticks are very important items in their garden. They insert sticks next to beans, so that beans can climb and produced more beans. The harvest is plentiful. Moreover they water their whole garden and they know their business, as they add "powerseed" to make sure all corps can have enough nutrition to grow better and faster.
When their morning session is finished, they take a little rest, enjoy a cuppa, relax a little, then it';s time to go back to the garden. They understand a remarkably productive garden needs constant tendering.
When I finished work and return home, there they are in the cool of the late afternoon with their afternoon session of gardening. From what I understanding, they repeat all that they did in the morning. Garden maintenance is paramount.
Sometimes I was wondering how they have such energy to do the gardening every day – regardless of the the weather – clearly they were tired. This is heavy duty. But what I pondered makes them keep doing all this work?
The full garden
On one occasion, I went to their house to borrow a tool for my garden, so this gave me a chance to view their entire garden network. When I saw it up close I was amazed. The garden is full with green corps, cabbages, lettuces, beans, wide beans, chillies, strawberries and various fruit trees including mangos. It is a mini market garden.
My neighbour told me that they do not need to buy any vegetables from the market, their garden produces enough for themselves. When I left their place, I borrowed the tool I need, and was given a lettuce and some chillies.
After seeing my neighbour's garden, I began to understand what is it that make them work so hard. What they put in - produces rich eating rewards. And it helps their grocery shopping bill 'bottom line'.
This didn't come instantaneously. They didn't plant a garden one morning and eating the crop that evening. Patience is indeed a virtue. There is a great joy in looking back to see what how it all happened.
There is something to say about consistency in effort, knowledge and wisdom. Never give up. The harvest is plentiful.
Little wonder why Jesus spoke in this manner. There is a direct correlation to Christian ministry. One thing more, the Lord's harvest directly involves His Holy Spirit and to illustrate this – a story:
A missionary couple years ago in PNG had a similar magnificent garden and a visitor complimented them on what the Lord had done! Their response was that the visitor should have seen it when the Lord had it by himself!
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html