For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)
There is work in the fields. Sun and soil, wind, rain and the seasons have their demands. The ones who buy the seeds and lease or own the lands have their demands. The managers, the pacesetters, the quota-getters, the overseers: they have their demands, as well.
The timing and the rhythm are everything.
The posture and terms are everything, too.
My ancestors knew this posture. They knew the terms. They knew the work. The sun, the soil, the pace, the oversight. Their rhythm, their timing is written into my grandparents, parents, into me. My child knows it, too.
Do. Repeat. Next.
Do. Repeat. Next.
When that is my rhythm, too, something remarkable happens:
There is a rustling.
A wind picks up.
And their voices cry out from the wilderness: turn.
Look where you are but then turn because there is more.
Turn because the ancestors saw this story before you got there. They knew the pitch and the season and the beat before you ever heard it.
Turn and take your face from the task and look to the sky.
There is a breeze just now but it wants to be a storm and it will be.
The ancestors are whispering, and just like the breeze they’re about to shout.
There is fruit to bear, but it might not be the fruit your overseers told you to plant. There is fruit to bear, but it’s likely to be born of your own inspiration. It could be that your labor is fruitful, but not so much for you.
And if the labor is hard but the fruits are distinctly not yours to share? Then maybe the ancestors are chanting a different tune, setting a new pace, calling forth a shifted order that says:
You matter. Your time and your labor matter. Your posture and your pacing and your leisure matter.
And you are worthy of the fruits.
You are worthy. In Jesus’ name.
Turn me, O God. May I bear good fruit that serves your purposes. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.