Change is often gradual and subtle.
Right Before Your Eyes
You hardly realize the growth and development that is happening before your eyes. Plants, animals, and even skylines are constantly changing with grace and beauty all around us.
A cotton plant grows deep roots and a sturdy stem. The next thing you know, you see white blooms, then they turn pink. Next, the bloom falls off to make a way for an emerging boll of cotton.
Time to Harvest
You drive by a field every day and one day you realize the bolls are opening and fluffy white cotton can be seen throughout the field. Suddenly, it's harvest time and change is upon us again.
Our established, urban neighborhood here in Dallas is busy with renovation. For years we have driven down the same residential streets and seen the same homes full of character and stories. Lately, we drive down a familiar avenue and see a cleared lot where a bulldozer has just finished tearing down one of those old homes.
Within a few weeks, a foundation is poured, a new home is built and a moving truck is unloading the new owners’ possessions. The neighborhood changes again.
So many times in my life, change isn’t received with grace. I often resist and work against the development. I continue to try to stick to the old processes, digging in my heels, so things will stay the same. In doing so, I miss the character that deepens in the process and the improvements that are enjoyed from the results.
Be Kind to Yourself
By design, seeds must die before they sprout new life. Leaving the old ways behind so that something new can sprout in one's life sometimes feels like death. We have to shift our minds and emotions and bodies to align in a new direction for the fruits of change to blossom and bloom. I know in my head that change is good and brings new opportunities. But in hard moments of growth, I don’t always give myself grace for the journey.
Worth the Hard Work
Modern farmers can’t afford to dig in their heels and resist change. They must stay on the cutting edge of science, conservation, technology and marketing in order to stay afloat. “How can we do this better?” is a question they must ask themselves daily. By regularly asking this question over the last 30 years, agricultural professionals have developed practices that conserve water, enrich the soil, reduce chemicals, and produce more yield with fewer inputs. Now that kind of change is certainly worth all the hard work!
Life is Messy
The process may not always be graceful to the outsider, but I like how Sam Whitaker speaks about their farming operation. Whether it’s new farming practices they implement or financial growth strategies they analyze, Whitaker Farms looks at a five year picture of development to get accurate numbers and comparisons. This perspective allows time get the kinks worked out of a new strategy. Many of the steps along the journey will probably look messy to an outside observer— and maybe even to you.
Choose to Focus Ahead
Change is hard for some people, but hard doesn’t mean bad. It’s in the challenging seasons that we build character, grow gratitude, increase perspective and strengthen perseverance. Set your mind on the prize ahead and the journey will be worth it.