Harvest: to gather, to reap, to gain, to catch.
The end of a long busy growing season is the harvest. We bring in the final fruit of the land before winter.
T.S. Elliot wrote, “We had the experience but missed the meaning.”
Lots of experiences fill our days, weeks and years. Just imagine all the experiences in one day. Whether they be positive, traumatic, simple or complex it takes time to decipher the meaning of our experiences. It takes time for our souls to integrate all our experiences. The sweet fruit of wisdom only comes through reflecting on our experiences.
Celtic poet and writer and priest John O’Donohue writes about the importance of harvesting the meaning from our experiences.
O’Donohue explains that integration is such a vital part of our “coming home” to ourselves. Difficult experiences particularly need gentle consideration to fold them into our being. When we take time to reflect on our experiences we mature, we heal, and our fragmented lives are made whole.
Jesus invited his students to be fertile ground for the Word of God to grow. Jesus was teaching that the Children of God are the harvest of the Kingdom of God. When we meet frustration with hope, when we face discouraging situations with faith, when we make peace in the midst of conflict or show mercy when we could hold a grudge we are nourishing this world with the fruit of God’s love.
Our souls have this amazing capacity to make wholeness out of all of our disparate experiences. Seek God’s help in harvesting the fruit of your experiences today, and more and more you will become the fruit of God’s love.