One day, the farmer decided to gather the fruit from the tree nearest his house - the one used to provide a hedge from the landfill. As he brought the fruit inside his house, he noticed that it was a little deformed. The symmetry of the fruit was admittedly not very good. Nonetheless, the fruit still looked edible.
Later that evening, while sitting on his porch the farmer took one of the pieces of fruit for a snack. Biting into it, he soon found it to be extremely bitter, and in reality, quite inedible. Casting the fruit aside, he looked across the field to the other tree over by the mountain stream.
After making his way across the field, the farmer took a piece of the fruit from this other tree and bit into it. This time, he found the fruit to be sweet and quite delicious. So he gathered several more pieces of this fruit and took them all to his house to be enjoyed.
Hopefully, the point of this story is self-evident. The fruit produced by each tree was greatly affected by the nutrition taken in at its respective root. Thus, the tree that grew by the landfill turned out to produce bitter fruit; while the tree that grew by the stream of fresh water produced sweet fruit.
Now, in this little parable is a profound truth: the root determines the fruit! Each of us can either put down roots into the soil of the landfill of fleshly pursuits, or into soil by the cool refreshing stream of the river of life, Jesus Christ. The choice is entirely ours to make! But whatever choice we make, the fruit of our respective lives will always be the outward evidence of our respective inward connection!
The Psalmist understood this long ago. Under God’s guidance, he penned these words in the opening chapter of the Old Testament Book of Psalms (chapter1, verses 1-6):
1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers.
4Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
In light of this, let us each do our best to plant ourselves firmly next to the living water; and also to put down deep roots there - roots that will insure that our fruit will not only be beautiful, but ultimately wholesome and nourishing to all!
STORY SOURCE: Available widely online. See, for instance: https://bible.org/illustration/two-fruit-trees-different-fruit.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/niv/psalms/1.htm.