S. Monica Justinger

S. Monica Justinger

Spring is here in all its beauty…snow and all. Spring is the time when new life buds forth and shares its beauty with us. One cannot help but think about the marvels of God’s creation.

This past Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday and we all know the story of how God knows his sheep… But,, as I was pondering this story, I kept thinking about our Earth and our land and was relating this story to our farmers.

The farmer, the biggest gambler with tremendous faith. In spring, he tills the land and plants crops to feed us. He tends to the earth and yet, he has to wait and watch it grow, waiting and watching, hoping there will be just the right amount of rain to feed the plants roots. Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given, but the farmer has also the sense of responsible stewardship.

My grandfather had a farm and he had a big “truck patch”, a large vegetable garden and as kids, we would go out and help him attend to his large garden. As the summer progressed, we picked and canned the fruit of his labor. Strawberries, beans, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, corn, etc. My mom canned and yes, I helped with my sisters.

I was the youngest and had small hands so I had to wash jars. Come Saturday around 10 a.m., here came Grandpa with a trunk load of vegetables. No matter how hard we tried to get out of helping canning, we pitched in until the job was done.

My grandpa and my dad taught us to respect the land and hard work. As I think about it, I learned that we all have a mission in life. That all living things have a cycle and I keep hearing the song in my head. “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” by The Byrds.

“To everything Turn, Turn, Turn.

There is a season Turn, Turn, Turn.

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap…..”

I may not be a farmer, but planting flowers in our flower beds or garden pots is a way we tend to the Earth and build our faith, because when you think about it, we all are stewards of the land. Not just the land, but stewards to our families, the people we work with, to each other.

Being a good steward requires sharing of self. When we share, we build relationships and relationships build memories. Good or bad, these experiences/memories build our character. As we move through each season, like the farmer, we gamble with our choices and deepen our faith in God.

No one lives forever. Slow down and enjoy each season as you travel through life. You only get one chance on Earth, make it worthwhile. I’m in my fall now and looking back, life has been so good!

So what is your season? What do you remember?

Written by S. Monica Justinger, member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

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