“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven:
A time to plant and a time to harvest.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b: (NLT)
The time was October 10, 1960, and Pittsburg Pirates and the New York Yankees were knotted 9-9 in the final inning of the seventh and deciding game of that year’s World Series. The visiting team, the Yankees, had rallied for 2 runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score. All eyes were riveted on every pitch to every batter and the tension was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife.
Ralph Terry completed his warm-up pitches and the diminutive second basement of the Pirates strode to the plate to lead off the ninth inning. Bill was known more for his fielding prowess and had never hit for power in any of his preceding years as a major leaguer, not ever hitting more than 19 home-runs in any one season.
Having been encouraged by his coaches, manager and teammates to do whatever he could to get on base, he headed toward home plate. Knowing if he could reach first base the next man would sacrifice him to second and then the Pirates would have two additional batters come up to try and get him home for the winning run. That on his mind he dug into the batter’s box looking for a pitch that he could drive into the outfield.
The first pitch was a ball. The Yankee pitcher tugged at his hat, toed the pitching rubber and prepared to throw his best pitch. Bill Mazerowski on the other hand readied himself at the plate. The pitch came in, it hovered over the plate just long enough and the rest is history as is said. Bill Mazerowski swung and hit the ball, not into the outfield as hoped but over the left field fence for a game winning 9th inning home run.
Nice story you say, but what does it have to do with seed time and harvest. Simply this: Bill Mazerowski had spent countless hours honing his skills as a youngster, school boy and as a professional ball player. He had taken thousands of hours of batting practice hitting pitch after pitch many of which went the wrong way or just dribbles off the end of his bat. Not only had he practiced but as a youngster had dreamt of hitting a game winner homer to win the World Series. Those were his “seeds” all planted patiently in hopes that one day he would reap a glorious and plenteous harvest. And he did.
We have all had hours and hours perhaps years of planting seeds patiently waiting a harvest. What we do not know is when that harvest will come in…we humbly and patiently believe that it will. It is not for us to neither know nor predict when that harvest will come to fruition.
Unfortunately life is not like the farmer who plants in the spring and harvests in the fall. However, there is one thing that “dovetails” the farmers harvest with our life’s harvest and that is the process of cultivation. Seeds take, water, nurturing of the soil and the removal of weeds to grow into luscious fruit or vegetable bearing plants/trees.
So it is with our lives. We must water it with the life giving ingredients of good literature (the Word of God being one), faithful industrious work and wonderful friendships. Secondly like the farmer the soil of our lives needs be nurtured through cultivating challenges and the virtuous victories. And lastly we must spend endless hours of back breaking work hoeing out the weeds of discontent, discouragement and despair.
When we are faithful to do that, then and only then can we confidently and expectantly know that our homerun pitch is about to be served up and that we are up to the task of knocking the ball out of the Park.
Have a great week Planting and or Harvesting