The harvest of life
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
"Eating is an agricultural act." I think Wendell Berry made a good point when he wrote that sentence. Everything that we eat came about because of an agricultural act. Even the snacks and junk food we eat have agriculture as their base.
Salads, soups, steaks, seafood, rice, oats, bread, fruits, cakes, ice cream - the list goes on and on of food that have been placed on our tables which we've eaten and enjoyed. Thinking about them makes me want to eat the bunch of rambutan that's been sitting beside me while working at the dinner table.
From the farms to our tables
The food in our refrigerators and pantries started out as seeds that were planted and animals that were raised in captivity or caught in the wild. At the heart of it all are the men, women, and even children, who toil day in and day out so that we can have the best produce, meats, seafood, and livestock.
That said, I'd like to pay tribute to all the commercial farmers, dairy farmers, livestock farmers, poultry farmers, aquaculture farmers, and fishermen. Their tireless dedication to their work deserves praise and admiration.
Their jobs are not easy and require commitment. Tending to our gardens and looking after our pets can be tiring work. Multiply that by the hundreds and perhaps that will be equivalent to their back breaking tasks. Nowadays, the more technologically advanced farmers are assisted by machines making their labor slightly easier and faster.
I'd like to give a special shout out to subsistence farmers, too, like community farmers and gardeners. My mom and I are recipients of friends' generosity when they harvest fruits and vegetables from their backyard. We are grateful to them and to others who generously share their family's own produce. Thank you very much for that!
Food for thought
Drought, storms, earthquakes, and pests are factors that farmers and fishermen have no control over. Despite the hard work, time, and money invested, nothing can fully prepare them once natural disasters and infestations hit. Their livelihoods can be gone in a matter of minutes. There is however one factor that is often overlooked which makes all the difference between a disaster and steady, constant success.
Plentiful harvests, protection from pestilences, healthy livestock, overflowing supply, perfect weather conditions are all attainable and expected outcomes. How is that possible? When we obey God and are faithful to his teachings, we are rest assured of all these blessings as written in Deuteronomy 28. Sounds incredibly simple but true.
Dodong Cacanando was a clueless executive from Makati when he transplanted his entire family to live as a farmer in Bukidnon in 1998. He wanted to have a better life and knew in his heart that the move was God's response to his dream. He used the Bible as a tool on how to do things at the farm. He applied the principles he learned and was obedient to God. "God has given us what we need" is a statement he lives by and seen in the natural solutions applied to his farm which he calls "bio-diversified integrated farming".
A friend attended Dodong's farm business seminar a few years back and visited his farm which epitomizes his faithfulness to God and His word. Despite the many odds and storms they've encountered, the farm is thriving providing quality lettuce to two of the biggest fast food chains in the country. Employee morale is high and there is a decrease in conflicts and thefts.
A few years ago, they started a non-profit training facility in answer to businessmen and corporations asking Dodong to train their staff. His continued success through the years is a testament to the blessings of trusting and obeying God.
A truly good life
The Bible outlines teachings and principles essential to health and life. When we choose to follow them, we are assured of a blessed life. What ties them all together is the trust that we put on our Lord Jesus Christ.
"But you shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. No, spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Messiah, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for this very purpose.” John 6:27, TLB
A person can have the best life could offer and yet feel anxious of what tomorrow may bring. We can also become exceedingly desperate holding tight to what we have lest we lose it, or go to extreme lengths to get what we need only to be still in want.
You see, no matter what we face, good or bad, we'll always have peace in our hearts and minds and never be moved when our life's foundation is firmly planted in the Lord. That is the abundant life which speaks not only of material wealth but the well-being of the mind, body, soul, and spirit. We can experience that now and enjoy it even more when we go home to be with our Father in heaven.
That is the true harvest of life.