Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Old Trees Vs Young Trees

Did you know that there are now many fruit producers in the world that replace their fruit trees every 7-10 years? 

While it used to be that if you planted and apple tree this year the only thing you had to do was prune it and collect fruit for the next 30-40 years, agriculturists are realizing that with proper training and pruning the fruit yield is better on these young trees than it is as they grow older.  They rip out the "old" trees and replace them with fresh ones that will produce more fruit faster.

Hmm. That seems a little harsh. One could argue that "it's a business and it makes business sense". 

We are not trees per se but our fruit production does come into question by the Master Gardener. What does He say about our production these days? Would His orchard be more productive with "younger" trees?

What kind of fruit is coming from our lives that is unique to an older variety that can't be duplicated by younger ones? What keeps us in the garden when our maintenance program seems like it's taking more work than the fruit production warrants? Sooner or later it becomes a "business decision" and the juice isn't worth the squeeze.

Jesus gives the analogy that The Father is "Vinedresser" and that He is the vine and we are branches. He tells us that the branches that don't produce fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire. Branches that do produce fruit are still being pruned to bear more fruit. That all makes perfect horticultural sense but what about in our personal lives?

Does 1 piece of fruit per year warrant pruning and not burning? Does the fruit that we produce change as we grow older? Seriously, when someone is old and grumpy and is costing thousands of dollars per month to keep alive, is this good crop management? What keeps someone like this from being cut off and burned? What kind of fruit production can we yield that is not only keeping us attached to the vine but producing more and better with each passing year?

These are questions that I am wrestling with. Why does God keep grumpy Christians around? What does an old Christian produce that young ones need? What does the Vine need that kind of fruit for? Am I producing the kind of fruit that warrants the effort to prune or is it better for The Father to start over with young plants?

John 15 wasn't written so we could gloss over the passage and say "yeah, yeah. I've heard all that before". Jesus said things so that we'd listen and obey. What kind of fruit are we producing that is so amazing it warrants the work to keep us on the vine?

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