Ruth was in Bethlehem as she came from Moab following Noemi, after her sons (one of them Ruth’s husband) and her husband had died. This was a new culture and a new setting for Ruth, so she was not used to the traditions nor the ways of this new place. In this particular scene, she is helping her mother in law to find food in a land in which she has no family nor she is not known, or so she thought. So she asked for permission to go after the harvesters and pick up what they had left. Harvesting is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields, so these harvesters were experienced. They were after the big crops. Ruth took all that was left by the professionals. After inquiring about her performance, Boaz met her that day and he instructed her to follow the young women closely and what part of field they harvested. He told her to learn the craft from those that had mastered it. She had to watch and learn.
In order to gain knowledge you need to follow those that had done it before you. This is not new, but some of us just don’t like to be seen as followers or that we just don’t know something that everyone else appears to know. It might also be a hidden truth about ourselves that we just have not acknowledged yet, that we still have some pride in us. In order to grow, you have to know. But the matter of the fact remains, that in order to master a craft, you have to follow those that have been great before you. There is an art to be learned in every craft. I am equating a harvester to someone that has experience in our area of interest or has achieved results in the area you are trying to master. Don’t mind the small things. We get so involved in the small things that we miss the big harvest. Ask questions, be watchful and learn. These are those that had “done it” before. These are people that have earned the right to be heard. The contrary is also true. Never follow someone that has not walked the talk. Would you follow financial advice from someone that is broke? Will you get marriage advise from someone that neglects his or her family? As Jeff Henserson said: “Because the people that you listen to, are a preview of the future you”, in other words, you will become what you and who you listen to. If you like what you see, keep listening. If you don’t, walk away, find a good harvester.
I remember that I thought I knew and mastered public speaking. My particular job requires that I convey and articulate ideas and concepts that need to be fully understood before action is taken. As I was taking a series of trainings over the course of several months on the subject, I fully realized how little I knew and how much I still had to learn. I learned simple things as posture, tone, and even pauses. Things that I thought were not that important as was the message, when in fact there were. They actually made my message all the more clear and engaged the audience in ways I never thought it could. I followed the harvesters and still do today.
If you are humble enough to admit that you do not know it all, you will be humble enough to learn everyday. It is good to be trendy and to create new ways to do things. But experience is paramount. It will change the way you perceive life and you will help you go further faster, because you learned to follow the harvesters.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.