The sun, at least for this year, seems to be waning a little. Autumn is here. It is time for harvesting paddy rice in different parts of the world.
I gazed out at my window while sipping hot water in the morning. I could sense the smell of harvest visiting my nostrils, amidst the stinky city air.
In my younger days, we’d been harvesting paddy rice every autumn at the onset of winter. When the foggy morning could no more hide the sun, we’d started working in the fields. With no machinery at hand, we always do it the traditional way.
The smell of rice harvesting is sweet. The year’s hard work finally paid off. It was a good feeling to see rice mounted after few hours of working. Hoards of jokes at lunch time kept all workers enthralled.
The haystacks collected, in the end, are a huge treat for children. It is a new ‘play area’ that comes once in a year. The best part is the thanksgiving feast that followed.
Walking past the harvested rice, the smell is a combination of sweet and that awful asthmatic smell from the hay. The rice plants are standing strong through the entire season before the seeds could be harvested. And that makes them have a worn-out or awful smell.
Sadly, most the paddy fields during our childhood days are submerged in the man-made water dam, which was built some years ago. It is more of a saddened truth that the main source of food for the villagers in the countryside has been destroyed.
In the present scenario, the smell of harvesting was a far cry, for many, in the region. There’s not enough space to sow crops. The fertile lands have been submerged. No crops being sown means nothing to harvest, even though harvesting time has come.
There’s nothing to harvests. And that’s sad!
The Threshing Period:
In our life, we had undergone through some threshing period. It was terrible times we’d endure to get the best out of ourselves. However, the kind of threshing we endure would be different from one another based on the desired outcome.
In the traditional way of harvesting paddy rice, the threshing part is most important. Threshing the hay separate the eatable from the uneatable. Muscled men threshed the bundle of hay against a wooden or hard object so that the seeds could be collected for storing. Anyway, that is the main job of a harvester.
Our life is a preparation time for eternity. In this preparation period, we may anticipate threshing in some way. The process would make us smell good in the eye of the Lord. Moreover, if we are fully prepared, we smell of a good harvest in our ripening age.
Personally, the physical pain that I’d endured in my daily life, although not for the cause of the gospel, I hope, would ripen me for His harvest. It is my prayer that the constant uneasiness and pain would mould me into deeper faith in Him.
Therefore, dear readers, let us try to abide in Him in this threshing period.
By way of refresher, let’s reflect on harvesting mentioned in the Bible:
First, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4) Night is no more a good time for work. The land has been submerged, as discussed above, so there’s no possibly of work in the region.
Second, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few,” Jesus Christ said to his disciples. (Luke 9:37-38) “Ask your Father, to send out more workers.” There will be a time when harvest cannot be done anymore.
Third, Act now! “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest?’ I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) It’s more of a ‘now or never’ in the work of God.
Lastly, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
The inspiring stories of harvesting for the gospel of Christ could never be omitted. Although I am not going to share with you today. It was a job where all the workers are very much contented with, unlike other jobs.
Now, after the harvesting works are done, it is time to inspect the food barn. It was a very good feeling to see our food barn was full. But that did not happen every consecutive year. Several factors, seen or unseen, are behind the harvested values of the year.
In some of the years, we could not meet the demands of the family. But nothing can be done, the time for sowing and watering had gone. Only one thing we can do; we must try to do it better in the coming years.
There was a song, which we sang during my Sunday School days. The song must be inspired by Psalms 126. In these short verses, our lives and its anticipated elements – tears, joy, weeping, reaping, tears of joy, and songs of joy are all mentioned.
The verses read:
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. (Psalms 126:5-6)
Even the bitter planter expected the sweet smell of harvest. The smell of harvest brings joy to all human. All things are possible with God!