One of our family holidays was to the Hawkes Bay - in winter! There was no particular reason why we went other than that I hadn't been there for many years at that point and none of my kids had ever been there. One of the things we did was take an orchard tour - on an open trailer towed behind a tractor (don't think we'd be able to do that under Health & Safety rules today).
One of the great things about going to places in winter (unless it's to the snow) is that often there aren't a lot of people around and so you get special attention from tourist operators. And that's what happened on this day - our "tourist operator" (aka the orchardist) told us lots of things and took us to places on the orchard that the tour doesn't normally go to. Like to the pear tree that was then over 100 years old (I think it may even have been 150 years old) and which was still producing fruit. It was a magnificent specimen - tall and strong.
I was reminded of that pear tree when I read in my devotions this morning of olive trees in the Mediterranean which are over 2,000 years old and which are still producing fruit today. Imagine that - the olive oil you use in your cooking may have come from a tree that Jesus walked by, maybe even sheltered under from the hot Mediterranean sun.
I'm not an orchardist (in fact please don't ever give me a plant unless it's hardy and can take care of itself - green fingers I do not have!) and I don't know why these trees have not only survived and flourished for so long but I suspect it's at least partly because they are strongly rooted in good soil, they are well looked after and weeds, crawling plants etc which could strangle and kill them are kept clear.
None of us will be around - at least not in our current bodies - in 2,000 years (even Methuselah the oldest person in the Bible only lived 969 years) but will those who come after us say of us that - when we died we were strong in our faith and still producing ministry fruit right to the end? I hope that is what people will say about you and me. To do that we need to stay strongly rooted in the Father's (God's) love, strongly attached to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, strongly rooted in the word of God (the Bible) so as to be able to ward off anything that would strangle our faith and so cause us to stop producing ministry fruit.
Have a blessed week