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Driving through Celina on Tuesday, I saw the rising cloud of dust in the distant sky. Over the past hour, I had driven past thousands of acres of mature, yellow wheat, thinking each time, “When does it begin?” Now, as the next field came into view, I saw the big green John Deere combine making its pattern, the grain truck at the edge of the field waiting to be filled, the familiar dust and chaff filling the air. The harvest had begun.

For me, this is the most beautiful time of the year. The north Texas rural landscape is checkerboarded with fields of dark green corn and spectacular golden wheat, punctuated here and there by green pastures with grazing cows, calves at their sides. I have come to enjoy all the seasons, but nothing rivals the verdant landscape and rich fertility that is in full view this time of the year. The start of the wheat harvest signals the peak of the season, a time of beauty and joy that somehow stimulates the most primal part of my brain. I find myself thinking about grandparents and great-grandparents and ancient relatives whose lives revolved around the wheat harvest. Their stories can be found in the Bible, and their spirits can be felt in the fields.

There is also something enormously reassuring about the wheat harvest. The Korean peace summit may or may not be on. Who knows the outcome of the ongoing inside-the-beltway-battles? Will hurricane season bring yet another devastating storm? Life is full of unknowns. But the rhythm of the harvest, the sowing of the seed and the reaping of its fruit — from generation to generation the gift of life itself, the palpable presence of the creator God — the wheat harvest is a reminder that some things never change.

Rev. Don Underwood