While The Business Application of Sowing and Reaping (Part 1) primarily focused on seed time, I didn’t want to breeze over the final two stages, progression time and harvest time, because I believe they are just as important. In order to properly discuss these stages, I’ve turned what was supposed to be one post on sowing and reaping into a three-part post. God has taught me a great deal through writing these posts and I am excited to share the third post with you all as well.
As I discussed in the first post, after the farmer has sown seed in the field, he enters the stage called progression time. During this phase, the farmer irrigates, fertilizes and weeds the field. Simply put, the farmer waits in faith for his crops to grow.
So how does progression time apply to us as businesspeople?
There comes a period of time in the process of accomplishing goals we’ve set out to attain when it seems like nothing is happening. It seems like we’re going in a big circle and not getting anywhere. We’ve all experienced it. Well I believe that God uses progression time to prepare us for the harvest.
Here’s an analogy to explain why I believe that: Say you are driving to California for vacation. Your goal is obvious: you want to make it to California. But let’s say you first start out by driving South on I75 towards Florida. While you may still be “going somewhere” and moving away from your original starting point, just because you’re “going” doesn’t mean you’re going to end up in California. In this case, you need to make a course correction and, ultimately, go West. In business, even though we may sowing seeds daily, that doesn’t automatically mean the harvest is coming. Progression time allows us to make the course corrections needed to weed out mistakes so we can ultimately improve our abilities and mature for harvest.
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur with a startup who has been sowing seed faithfully and working tirelessly but just aren’t seeing the results. Let me fill you in on some tough love my mentors taught me: just because you are working hard doesn’t mean you are accomplishing anything. There may need to be some adjustments that need to happen in order for you to finally be driving in the direction of your ultimate destination. There are three things I believe we need to do in order to make the necessary course corrections during progression time:
The best thing we can do in a situation like this is give it over to God and completely trust Him. It can be a frustrating time in our lives because we all want the harvest to come immediately. That’s why it’s so important to recognize that God is in control and in charge of the growing. Keep going to God and giving it up to Him.
2) Analyze and Adjust
We need to take a step back and analyze what we are doing and see if there are any areas where we can improve. Also, it’s extremely beneficial to sit down with someone who has been in the same situation and experienced what we are going through. Let’s say we are the President of a company where morale is down. We are in need of ideas and solutions because everything we’ve done up to this point just isn’t working. Ask the leader of a company you admire to have lunch with you and make that a valuable time to pick their brain and find out what exactly they are doing right that you could also implement. These steps are necessary because the seeds we are sowing may not be bearing fruit and, in order for that to change, we need to personally change and adjust.
3) Be Patient
In the first post, I used the example of weight loss. We may be at the gym everyday but it’s not realistic to think the 15 lbs we gained over the winter are going to come off tomorrow. Or maybe even this month. It’s so important to be patient and have faith that the harvest will come. If we skip over patience, all we are going to reap is discouragement and a lot of frustration.
So let’s remember these lessons next time we are going through the stage of progression. This phase is just as important as seed time and the harvest. In order to be ready to reap the harvest, God makes us first go through the sowing, watering and weeding. So instead of getting frustrated, impatient and discouraged, let’s remember to make the necessary course corrections so we can reap the ensuing harvest.