There are two varieties of olive tree, the cultivated variety Olea europaea sativa and the wild variety Olea europaea oleaster. The olive is unusual among trees in its duration of life, taking from six years in good conditions to twenty years in dry, difficult areas before it will start producing fruit.
The olive tree reproduces by sending up shoots from its roots. If not trimmed they surround the trunk, like the psalmist’s blessing of many children; “your children will be like olive shoots around your table. (Psalm 128:3)
The Olive tree is well known for it’s incredible ability to send up new shoots, even when the tree has been reduced to a mere stump. This gives the Olive tree a kind of immortality not enjoyed by other species.
The Israeli olive tree trunk, for example, is completely lifeless, its fruitfulness long gone. But next to the base of this dead trunk are fresh, new shoots, all bursting forth with life. Though the cells of the trunk are lifeless, the roots are still producing life in the form of these green-leafed shoots.
It’s because of this, that we’ve called our school at home, the “Olive Shoots Academy.” It represents the concept that the discipleship of our children will determine the discipleship of the following generation, and what will continue on well after the ‘trunk’ has died. My prayer and desire is to touch the hearts and lives of my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on. I pray that my life is a blessing to the state of our family well after I’m gone.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.