I’ve been working in the garden and orchard here at Pipe Spring quite a bit. Things are getting ripe so fast that the gardener can’t keep up by herself, especially since she went on vacation last week. So I’ve been picking beans, peppers, carrots, onions, and turning the melons. I also seem to be the only person who picks the fruit in the orchard. We had lots of peaches a couple of weeks ago and tons of apples now. It is nice to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
I haven’t worked much in a garden since I graduated from high school. When I was a kid I was active in 4-H and we always had a nice vegetable garden. Not big compared to my farmer grandfather’s garden, but big enough for produce for the family. I planted, weeded, harvested, and helped my mother preserve the foods. I forgot how nice it was to grow something to eat from the soil.
Too many of us have jobs where we don’t enjoy the fruits of our labors. Teachers help a seed of a child grow for a season but then that child passes on to another grade and another teacher. A pastor plants seeds of faith and hopes that they take root. A cashier may be helpful to a customer but then the item is scanned and the customer leaves. Even farmers who plant, tend, and harvest a crop may be so worried about the weather or profit that they don’t enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The Bible tells us that we are to find satisfaction in the work that we do. Our jobs may not yield immediate fruits, but we can be faithful in tending the orchard where we live. We may weed a garden that has been already planted. We might enjoy the harvest created by someone else’s hard work. But God calls us to this satisfaction, this enjoyment. When we enjoy the fruits of our labors, we are showing proper reverence for God.
“7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-9