Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Untended Orange Grove

We have been traveling in South Florida. Since I am a Plant Guy I Prophetic in everything.   From time to time as we travel we see abandoned orange groves.  Some are abandoned for reason, others because of expediency. 

One in particular was along the way to a hotel in Orlando.  There was an orange grove on a corner.  It had a for sale sign on it.  Buy this property.  What made it interesting to me was the reality that this grove still produced fruit.  It was untended, weedy and overgrown, but fruit was still there.

This made me think of those christians, those churches where fruit still comes long after the one tasked to steward the property had given up.  To the outside world it looks like a mess, but there is still fruit being produced.  Somewhere along the line whoever took care of that property made sure that the land would produce even after the shepherd left.  The end of the thing of course is it will continue to decline and eventually be sold off.  Abandoned.  Even if a few good fruit bearing trees are there.

Another many examples I saw were those who were past prime.  Ancient wood.  No longer vital.  Standing but no fruit.  To a casual observer, just barren trees.. some still with leaves on them.  But they never flower nor fruit. 

That is like many old cathedrals I saw and visited in Europe.  Ancint.  Sturdy.  A few leaves (members) but no fruit.  Barren. Empty.  The believers simply stand..

The last category is one that was ravaged by disease.  The disease Greening is rampant in Florida.  It has only been here since 2005. It is spread by a tiny Asian aphid. There is no cure. Yet in less than a decade it has destroyed many orchards.  Whole former orchards now stand nude and empty of fruit.  Here and there a stray shoot tries to produce, it might even flower but the fruit never comes to fruition.

That is much like formerly healthy churches and believers who allowed a small thing, an aphid of disbelief or error or division to creep in and destroy the whole.  It's very hard to stop.  The only thing that will eventually help is complete erradication of the orchard, starting over with fresh trees and using diligent aphid control in season to keep out the pests.  The same is sometimes true of Churches and fellowships.

I see these three types of orchards indicative of what happens when a wall of prevention is destroyed.  When the shepherd is no longer diligent.  The whole is destroyed. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence. I live in Plant City also. I enjoy your blog.