Soybean-cutting time is well underway on our local farms.
During harvest, farmers finally find out how well their crops have done. All that preparation, work and hope culminates, and this is the time yields are revealed.
Experienced farmers, like my husband, usually have a pretty good idea what their yields will be based on all the growing seasons they’ve been through.
Growing seasons give wisdom, and my husband has learned not to get too caught up in final yield tallies. In contrast, younger farmers, like our sons, tend to rely on the latest technology, including yield monitors, for their report cards (which they eagerly await much more than they did those from their school days).
But I suppose any time we look to someone else’s measuring stick for our harvest, our contentment hangs in the balance.
Case in point: one of our sons was operating the combine in a big field of soybeans recently.
He called my husband dejectedly reporting disappointing yields compared with what they’d hoped.
Knowing how good the crop looked, my husband questioned that low assessment.
Yet the high-tech yield monitor was flashing numbers, quickly squelching our son’s harvest enthusiasm.
Turns out the yield monitor needed recalibrating.
After some fine-tuning, those yield numbers rose to our son’s – and family’s – relief.
As a matter of fact, the yields were higher than my husband had ever experienced!
But the lesson lingered that looking to that inaccurate yield monitor led to emotions in the field changing more quickly than the colors on the trees.
Eager expectation had soon transitioned to questioning to disappointment to more questioning to relief to celebration.
Ever feel as though you’re on a similar emotional roller coaster?
When I heard this back and forth from my guys, I was struck with how we too often rely on modern-day “yield monitors.”
Our society flashes pictures, prescriptions and promises all around, pledging optimum results.
Self-doubt creeps in. Contentment fades. Yes, too often we buy into the high-tech touting – while our “crop” was faring just fine all along.
Those flashing lights from inaccurate – deceptive even – yield monitors surround us.
Be aware the devil loves to use things designed for good to slowly but steadily worm his way in and lure us off the peace-filled path.
He patiently targets us. And if we’re not careful, we may unwittingly yield, allowing the devil to move in front of us, in effect giving him the right of way.
So if we experience symptoms of anxiety, dissatisfaction and depression, we should consider recalibrating our yield monitor. Our problem may likely be the sources to which we look and listen.
May we not allow our peace to be linked to anything that desires to fluff our pride one minute while keeping us running harder and faster on the world’s hamster wheel – making us believe we can’t stop long enough to rest or enjoy this life, much less take time to check on our neighbors.
Rather than look to the world for our grades or yield assessments, or for exhausting endless tips and tricks of how to up our yields, we recalibrate.
We can yield to the Holy Spirit, asking for guidance and discernment.
We can choose to follow Paul’s advice: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
And, as Paul encouraged and instructed Timothy, we can remind ourselves while instructing our children and encouraging others: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Contentment. Ahh, sure sounds good, doesn’t it?
Let’s take a slow, deep breath as we enter our seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s purposefully look for the blessings surrounding us, seeing them through eyes of thankfulness and with hearts full of praise to God, from whom all blessings flow.
Harvest time is near, friends. Jesus tells us to open our eyes and look around.
Let’s ask him to help us see through the fake news and past the flashing lights.
“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35)
He beckons us to use our energies not on the hamster wheels of the world, but in his fields. He invites us to join him! And for that, I am so thankful!
Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 26 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.