My dad had a variety of occupations but one of the longest ones I remember was when my family owned and operated an apple orchard. Apples? In Texas? Yes. They were dwarf apple trees set up on a trellis system, so therefore they did not need as much cold weather as their northern counterparts. We would grade the apples and the better looking ones would go to market and the not so good looking ones would go to juice. (Their looks had nothing to do with the quality of juice, but stores liked the ones that "looked" like apples.)
I learned that there are hundreds of apple varieties. Yes, hundreds if not close to two thousand in the US alone. But the coolest thing I learned is that many of these apples are made by grafting different trees. Many of my favorite apples are a derivative of many years of work. Another strange thing is if you take the seed from a cultured apple it may very well produce a tree similar to the original tree it was grafted into. That is such a trip huh?
The Romans were famous for their olive trees and grafting olives. A olive tree left untouched may grow up to fifty feet in height. Cultivated trees are more like 20ft or so in height and produce a much healthier fruit. The grafting process is mentioned in the Bible in Romans 11. It talks about Gentiles (you and me unless you are Jewish) being grafted into the family of God. That is pretty cool to me. Especially since I have seen a graft first-hand.
See after a while a graft "becomes" part of the tree. It behaves like any other brach on the tree because it "is" the tree. It is no longer a separate grafted branch tied onto the tree but a branch fed by the same roots and everything. God gives us a chance to be part of what He is doing in the world. I can be tapped into His unending reservoir of love, power, grace and the like. So basically I am not "kinda" like His child or like a step-son. I "am" a part of His family. Thats pretty encouraging if you ask me.
You should check out a nursery and see if the horticulturist there can show you some grafted trees. It will really give you an appreciation for how complete God's salvation is for those who believe!! Peace out...