Is there fruit on your tree?

When we moved to Florida almost 20 years ago, we planted two citrus trees in our back yard.  We had loved our grapefruit and orange trees in California, so we went for the same. We eagerly awaited rapid growth from all the Florida rain and sunshine—and lots of yummy Vitamin C. We did not know about hardpan—a thick layer of dense clay and dirt formed from building up lots sites with the mud dug up to make retention ponds—all that water has to go somewhere.  Only the strongest tree roots could break through.  Year after year the trees remained small and stunted.  When they finally did bear fruit, it was sparse and sour. Several years ago we added a room to the back of our home—and we had no trouble deciding to do away with our scraggly fruit trees. They didn’t produce the fruit we were hoping for. Jesus had a few things to say about bearing fruit: John 15:8: "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."John 15:16:  "I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last." Hmm.  So is there spiritual fruit on my tree?  Are lives being touched for the Lord?  Am I using my time, talent and treasure to build God’s Kingdom?  Can someone tell by the fruit of my life that I am a follower of Jesus? Or is there a hardpan of self-centeredness, of worldliness, of laziness, of sin--stunting growth and drying up the fruit-producing sap?There’s only one way to bear fruit—to stay connected to the life-giving source:John 15:5:  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing….” c2010 Judy Douglass