For my birthday Matt planted an olive tree. It was one I picked out and ordered specifically because it is a fruit bearing tree. The nurseries around us carry lots of varieties of non-fruit bearing trees for landscaping but olive trees that actually produce olives had to be ordered. I wanted a tree with fruit because I didn’t want something else in my life to take care of that didn’t produce fruit. Bear in mind that I know nothing about olive trees except that I like olives.
Today I have been harvesting my fruit. I have learned a little about my tree from spending time in it. I can tell you the olives on the east side are small and shriveled while the olives on the west are larger and plump. I can tell you the ones that are ripe drop into my hand at the slightest touch and the ones that I have neglected to collect too long drop to the ground just from my movement in the tree.
My heart and mind are often drawn to God and our relationship when I am working in my rose garden and it was no surprise that He had something for my in the olive tree. I realized just how little I know about the first real work God gave us. To tend the garden… In all honesty, I haven’t been tending my tree. I have been enjoying it through the dinning room window when I manage to get dinner on the table for my little family instead of on tv trays in the family room watching the evening news. I haven’t been nurturing or watering it on a regular basis. I don’t know what it needs to produce good fruit or even to stay healthy. I haven’t spent the time learning when and how to prune it, haven’t sought out someone with experience and knowledge, haven’t….
Then my heart spoke up and said “I feel like this tree. Trying to produce good fruit without nurture, without understanding, without guidance, without…without…without…”
Is it any wonder God told us to tend the garden, any wonder He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening in that garden, any wonder that He keeps calling me to try to garden?
I have only harvested the olives I can reach from the ground and on my little step stool. I’m heading out to the garage for a ladder. I can’t wait to see what is waiting for me when I get off the ground and into the high branches. I can see some beautiful olives just out of reach.