Recently I was talking with the manager of a retail store. He was noting that he attempted to convey the importance of the seasonal nature of his business and the need to “get ready for harvest time.” But none of the new workers had any farm background. They had no understanding of the need to put forth extra energy and not be bound by the 9-5 time clock when the busy season was upon them. Together we mused about the difference between “kyros” (crucial/important) time and “chronos” (seconds, minutes, hours) time. Without a practical example of the differences between the two, it is sometimes hard to convey the different meanings. Hopefully for his employees, next year he will be able to reference the differences in ways they can understand.

Harvest time isn’t the only time we need to understand and live in “kyros” or important time. So it is for planting time as well. The weather must be right, the soil must be thawed, there must be sufficient but not too much moisture, and the season must be ready for growing. This year’s Annual Conference Assembly focuses on sowing/planting. Jesus used a parable (Mark 4:3-9) to speak of the importance of the sowing as well as to highlight the precariousness of what happens after planting. The sower has some control, but not complete control over the growing process. This is a parable about the work of the faithful, but it is also a parable about faith itself. There are no guarantees that every effort will bear fruit. But there is a call to have faith, for the harvest will come.

*Artwork by Sue Conrad, First Mennonite Church, Berne, Ind. These illustrations appeared on the cover of the 2012 Ohio Conference Annual Report Book.