“…and to His beloved, He gives rest.”
I often use achievements as the standard for my self-worth. Especially as somebody still so young, I look far forward to potential life and career opportunities, but often look past the moments that are now. This causes me to ignore the important things of my present life, such as loving others and letting others love me. This causes me to ignore my present pains– the shortness of breath, the rumbling of my stomach, the weight of my eyes. I get caught up.
For awhile now, I’ve been forced to learn two important lessons. The first, is to slow down. The future isn’t the top of the mountain, its the next step on the trail that leads there. My family, career, and community are all things that I dream of having in the future, but for as bad as I want those things, I have to trust that the present moments aren’t keeping me from that. Instead, they are preparing me in advance. How precious are these times, and how sacred of a gift it is for me to have today to learn myself. The moment is a good thing, and I want to rest my future on that. So until then, I need to slow down and not speed ahead. I think that a lot of that starts with how I relate to people, listening first and answering thoughtfully. I think that it builds on my lessons from last week too, in that I need to humble myself and step into these days focused not on how I can change the things around me, but rather how the things around me can change me. The farm seems to put that into perspective. I can’t rush the plants to harvest, and the fruit itself becomes more beautiful amidst the context of what it took to grow it; I think people are the same way. The other lesson I’ve been learning is how to celebrate others. I have to remind myself all the time that my life isn’t about me. I believe that life should be about how I can best serve and love others. After all, I think we really find purpose in the way that we can offer ourselves, especially for things that are greater than ourselves. The farm really shows that too. Growing plants has nothing to do with me. Really, my place on the farm is mostly concerned with how I can steward the land I’ve been trusted with. It really is our duty to celebrate nature. Next to slowing things down, the second element to harvest is celebration. Its a grand experience to pick the carrots from the ground, the peas from the stem, and flowers for a friend. We celebrate nature through our cooking of food, our smiling at the dirt, and the laying in the field. It is in celebration, and in slowing down, that my soul can find rest.
These are the lessons I have learned, the lessons I will learn again.