(This post is part of the CW Blog-chain. Check out the other great posts on the topic of “harvest” by clicking on names in the side bar.)
I am in the autumn of my life, in a period of harvest.
When I apply the theme of harvest to myself, I think of Mr. Holland’s Opus. My life parallels Mr. Holland’s in many ways. I retired after teaching nineteen years; Mr. Holland, thirty years.
Mr. Holland wanted to be a composer; me, an author. Mr. Holland and I first viewed teaching as a backup plan. We both thought we could teach and pursue our artistic endeavors.
We were both wrong.
The joys of imparting information and transforming young lives became more important than our artistic pursuits. One quote from the movie is this: A teacher has two jobs; fill young minds with knowledge, yes, but more important, give those minds a compass so that knowledge doesn’t go to waste.
And Mr. Holland gave his students that—not just a knowledge of music but the “compass.” He passed to them his love for music. Mr. Holland created an opus, a work of art, yet not what he envisioned. Instead it consisted of the students he inspired over the years. They were his opus.
As I taught science, I, too, endeavored to give a “compass.” I brought God into the equation as I taught about his wonderful creation. Perhaps I also served as a Christian example to my students and planted seeds that are even now being harvested. That is my prayer.
Of course, I made mistakes. As did Mr. Holland. Mr. Holland’s biggest mistake was not being supportive of his deaf son. Eventually he seeks to make amends and repair their broken relationship. My favorite part of the movie is when he sings the John Lennon song to his Beautiful Boy.
Mr. Holland had one son; I have two. And they were and are beautiful boys, inwardly and outwardly. After watching the movie the first time, I sang the song to them, in my broken voice, broken more with emotion welling up inside me. For I, too, have made many mistakes. Yet God still chose to bless my family and me.
Families are the largest part of our opus, the harvest we reap. The harvest that belongs to God.
In this autumn of my life, I hope to continue harvesting seeds I have sown. No, more than just harvest. With God’s help, I want to take the wheat to the mill, and grind it fine, and make the bread. With the crystal spring running through my life, perhaps I will succeed.
It is not too late to produce my opus, my written body of work. Now is the time for me to take my life experiences, the knowledge I have gathered, and produce books before the winter is upon me when no man shall reap.
If I am able to bake the bread, i.e., produce the books, it will be because God gave the rain and the soil and the sun. He gave me the means to grind the wheat and will give me the skill to turn the flour into bread.
The harvest truly is great, but I must choose to do the work.
Back of the loaf is the snowy flour
And back of the flour is the mill;
And back of the mill is the wheat
And the shower and the sun
And the Father's will.
(~Maltbie D. Babcock)