“The end of a thing is better than its beginning…”—Ecclesiastes 7.8
The end of a thing is the beginning; and the beginning of a thing is in the end.
The very breath of the cycle of life is when we recharge for the activity ahead.
Without breath there is no life.
Shmita—or a time of release—is that time between the inhale and the exhale of the cycle of life. It is that time when the earth’s lungs are full of oxygen, surging through it’s inner-most parts. And then, with each exhale there is a release and surrender, an emptying of what was.
The Shmita year is the seventh year of a biblical mandated seven-year agricultural cycle. In the seventh year, the land is allowed to rest—to recharge for the beginning of the next season. This tradition of agricultural rest has been observed in Israel since the Lord spoke His instructions to Moses—a tradition that is carried on in contemporary Israel today:
“And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land.”’”—Leviticus 25.1-5
How we rest in the present will shape the success of our future…
The strength of any cycle is locked into that moment of stillness. As a result, it is this moment of stillness that defines the strength of the cycle. It is that moment of time, which separates the past from the future—the beginning from the end.
It is that time after we have gathered the fruit of our labors; when we can sit and rest and enjoy. Shmita is all about connecting the preceding six years with the seventh—the year of release!
If we follow God’s instruction—those things that are important to Him—if we listen to Him during our times of rest, we will not only begin to understand current and future events, but we will also prosper in everything that He has for us.
My Olive Tree understands the importance of following God’s instruction and honoring the Sabbath year. We will resume planting on Rosh Hashanah 5776—the Jewish New Year—the beginning of a Jubilee year in Israel. Until then, we will follow God’s Word and allow the land to rest, and heal, before we continue on with God’s project.
It is our heart’s desire to plant now and allow these new trees a chance to begin their cycle of life resting in that breath between what was and what will be… His fruitful orchard promised by God through the very breath of the prophet Isaiah:
“I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel…”—Isaiah 41.19-20 (NLT)
With the Shmita year fast approaching, My Olive Tree has set a goal of 2,500 olive tree sponsorships between now and September 24, 2014—Rosh Hashanah 5775, when planting must cease, and the earth enters into a cycle of rest.
Will you consider helping us reach our goal before September 24th—the beginning of the next Shmita year?