I grew up in the central plains of Kansas. Wheat harvest was the normal routine for everybody come June. As a young boy, I didn’t remember seeing my father very much that month. He never took vacation that month, and I don’t remember the last time my parents celebrated their anniversary on their actual anniversary day, because it falls in the middle of June (same with my dad’s birthday).
As a young man, I soon learned the hard work of wheat harvest. Eighty hour weeks were normal, a social life was not. As you are just about ready to throw in the towel, your paycheck would arrive and suddenly you’d think, “Hey! I could maybe stick this out just a little while longer.”
Every June, the farmers in the area knew one thing very well: it was time to work because the harvest was plentiful.
You see, if they sat around until June and waited to fix their machines, they would miss the harvest. They had to start earlier. January is the time to fix up a combine, not June.
They had to learn to set the rhythm of their life to the crops. When the harvest was ready, so were they.
Reminds me of Jesus, who when walking the dusty countryside of ancient Israel, looked at the crowds surrounding him and said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9)
He could see that it was time to advance the Kingdom, but that few good workers could be found.
It is the same thing today, with one small difference: we’ve convinced ourselves to flip the saying around. Our perception, when it comes to evangelism and discipleship, is that the workers are many but the harvest is few.
So we convince ourselves that we are fully mature believers, living on mission with the Lord, but we never actually do anything. It would be like a farmer in Kansas looking at his ripe wheat fields in June, and upon seeing that they were ready to be harvested comment, “Yup. My crops are ready, as soon as they ask me to harvest them, I will.”
Any good farmer knows that they have to act because it is their job.
And so it is with discipleship. Anybody serious about it knows that they must act because God has called them to it.
So take a second and examine to see if you really are ready. If you think you are, write a name. Name someone that you can look at in your life and say, “It’s time to harvest.”
It’s a challenging thing, to actually name someone, or at least that has been my experience.
It’s not the job of the wheat to harvest itself, it’s the job of the farmer.
So commit this week to actually farming, to actually harvesting, to actually discipling someone.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.