Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just Like a Nut

I appeared to be as much of a nut as the pecans I was hunting down while I bumbled my way around the produce department. In my defense, it was 8 a.m. and I hadn’t yet had my first cup of office coffee.

I charged into the small neighborhood store where they usually carry the fall crop of Louisiana pecans, freshly delivered from a New Roads shelling plant. I am something of a pecan snob and love the ones picked and processed in Pointe Coupe Parish where I once taught high school.

Not finding Bergeron pecans, I asked the woman behind the counter. “They were right in front of you when you entered the door.” I retraced my steps and pretended I was starting all over again. Found them! But where was the three-pound box? More asking. This was followed by more pointing and calling out across the store while I wandered around in a ditzy blonde way finding everything but a box of pecans. Finally she left the counter to come help me! Success. I picked up two boxes and headed to checkout.

By this point, my search had attracted the attention of a group of fire fighters – the only other customers in the store. “Elliot. That’s what you want. Elliot’s are the best,” the older, stockier fire fighter instructed to no one or everyone. The younger men threw out the names of other varieties and discussed the characteristics of each. Who knew there were so many kinds of pecans?

The older man held his ground. “Across the river. That’s where you want to get them,” he continued. “They are oilier and tastier.” “Yup. That’s them. The one’s she’s got,” he said pointing at me. “They pack them at Bergeron’s”

Whew! At least I was addicted to the right kind of pecans.

“Pretty expensive,” the men continued, “but worth the price.”

As I swiped my debit card, I agreed—on both counts, pricey and worth it. Escaping the scene I had helped create, I thought more about pecans. I was purchased them for gifts to take to people who live in pecan producing states. Those states may produce pecans, but Louisiana’s are better and worth the hassle of hunting them down. There is just something about our soil. Or maybe it is the trees.

You can’t beat a good pecan that comes from a good tree planted in the right kind of soil. The difference is easily identifiable. When you plant Elliot trees, you get delicious Elliot pecans.

Whether or not pecans grew in Israel while Jesus was still there, I don’t know. But even if they didn’t, Jesus knew and taught the principle that good trees produce tasty fruit. What an encouraging thought for those who are planted in Christ. We don’t have to worry. As we mature, our actions will reflect more and more the life of the One from whom we draw life. When people watch us and witness our deeds, they will recognize we are in Christ.

A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit….Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Matthew 7: 17-20

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither;
and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3