By Carl Diener
Every harvest time, the villagers would travel from one farm to another to help with the wheat harvest. They would camp out near the field they were going to work the next day. So it happened that a group of villagers were sitting at night talking and laughing by the campfire, they were talking about the next day’s work. The young men were bragging about their prowess with the scythe and the various ways they handled the tool. Each young man told of how much grain would fall before His sweeping slash. Each of the men in the group were discussing with the others, something to the effect of, “Hey! Stay out of my way because I am sure to be fastest of all!”
Well among the men seated at the fire was a little old man. He had said nothing for most of the evening. He dipped his whetstone into the horn at his belt every now and then to make sure it stayed wet. When it was good and soaked with water, he would run it over the edge of his scythe blade. He was utterly absorbed in his work. With every stroke of the sharpening stone, he would see how the blade caught the firelight, looking for that little flash that gave away the tell-tale nick in the blade’s edge. His beloved whetstone, he had taken from a stream bed years ago. The stone was worn smooth by thousands of years in the rushing waters of that stream. It was a porous sedimentary rock. He found it perfect for sharpening his scythe.
In the depths of his meditative work, he became aware that someone was talking to him. He looked up into the smiling face of one of the young men looking at him who amid an excellent speech he was making on using the scythe.
“Eh old man, didn’t you hear me. Are you going to make it all day tomorrow or are you going to sneak off for a nap?” The other men laughed at the remark.
“Ah, well,” said the old man “age does have its limitations.” This response drew more friendly laughter, and the conversation moved on. The old man kept up the slow loving strokes of the stone to his blade for the rest of the time they spent around the fire.
In the morning, the men began their work. Much to their amazement, the old man was way out in front of the toiling, sweating, rest of the group. The sheaves of wheat were falling effortlessly before the rhythmic sweep of his scythe. Now and then he would stop and rest, and he would touch the stone to his blade. Then he would resume his work. He cut more wheat that day than any man there.
I hear the voice of the Lord: “Sharpen your spirit with time in my presence. Remember what I said and know why. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
My Harvest has come.
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