Monday, March 21, 2011

the avocado tree

We were first introduced to avocados
during our time in southern California
almost 9 years ago.
There were rows and rows of them growing
in the orchards we would pass
when we were out in town.
They quickly became one of my favorite sandwhich toppings
and fresh guacamole was a staple at our house.

Since then, I've been buying them whenever
we have a mexican themed dinner
and to add to my turkey sandwhiches.

It wasn't until we moved here to
Maryland that we attempted
the classic avocado seed experiment.

Last Fall my mom and Brendell
rigged up an avocado seed with toothpicks
and placed it in a jar of water.
Within a few weeks we had sprouts.
Those sprouts got bigger and bigger
and before we knew it we had
big green leaves!

It has been fascinating to watch this thing grow!
It is almost twice as tall now as it was
in these photos and it sits
in the window above our sink
where we all comment from time to time
about how well it's doing.

But this little plant will never produce fruit.
Even if we put it in soil and take care of it properly.
If it does produce fruit, it will take 7 to 15 years
and it will not be the same kind of fruit produced
by it's parent plant
and that fruit will not be edible.

Strange that something that appears to be so vibrant
and so healthy and something that we have watched grow
from a seed
will never do what it was created to do.

But there is hope.

This plant can be grafted into a high producing
well established tree.
Grafting is the process of combining the root system
of a new plant with a branch from a hearty producing tree.

Grafting is the only means of achieving
edible avocados in plants grown from seeds
because plants that are grown from seeds
like our little experiment plant
are hybrids and their fruit
if they produce any at all
is inedible
unless merged with a producing tree.

It is almost impossible for me to hear
of this process and not think of the Bible passage found in
John 15:1-8.
Unless we are grafted into the True Vine,
we will not produce effective fruit.
No matter how much sunlight or water we get,
no matter how straight and strong our stem seems to be,
no matter how green our leaves,
no matter how many admirers are standing around
talking about how great we are,
no matter how far we've come from
that little seed.....
there will be no effective fruit without
the merging of ourselves with
the one who is our source!
So the next time I see an avocado,
just seconds before I think of
guacamole and orchards full of trees
loaded with green fruit that tastes
like a vegetable,
I will think of what a wonderful picture
that odd shaped fruit is
of my utter uselessness apart
from God who is the source of my life.....
and then I will pick a nice soft ripe one
and grab the tortillas chips!

1 comment:

Moments in Time said...

Very good illustration Becky!!!