I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Until the other day. I read a report of Halftime founder Bob Buford speaking about “seeing the fruit of my life grow on others’ trees.” Then it dawned on me. That’s the goal. Especially in the third third of your life. It makes total sense.

ApplesIn fact, I’m realizing at this stage of my life, one of the most rewarding parts of having invested the last decade or two in leadership development, I actually get to see the fruit of my life growing on the trees of other younger leaders. In a way, it is more satisfying than seeing fruit grow on your own tree.

As a dad committed to my family as top importance for nearly four decades, I see the very same thing. My three adult children and their spouses, now in their thirties, are demonstrating the fruit of my life on their trees. Furthermore, my wife and I get to see our primary parenting values and principles now being reproduced in the lives of our four beautiful grandchildren.

The sowing and reaping principle is a metaphor for many aspects of life. It is spoken of frequently in the Bible. This principle has significant spiritual implications. It’s also true of character, finances, attitude, behavior and leadership development. We reap what we sow. Seeds planted, watered, nurtured and tended to actually bear fruit. There is a harvest. Positive. Or, not so positive.

FruitTreeIf you are going to out live your life and leave a legacy that lasts far beyond your funeral service and the final goodbyes, you need to sow and water seeds in others now that will grow and produce fruit long after your tombstone is tarnished and moss-covered. If your entire life is only focused on the fruit growing on your own tree, then the obvious will happen. When your tree dies, your fruit dies.

So, what are you doing to make sure you have fruit that grows on someone else’s tree? It must be intentional if you expect a great harvest. What step will you take today to either cultivate, plant, water or tend your future crop?


QUESTION: What are some other ways you’ve seen your fruit grow on another person’s tree? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.



2 responses to Fruit on Someone Else’s Tree

  1. Joyce Longacre on March 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM Reply

    I feel like a failure -not in leadership, not a parent or grandparent, don’t know anything I could have grown fruit on in my life. What do I do about it now? I’m in my third third now too.

    • Dennis Gingerich on March 10, 2014 at 5:48 PM Reply

      Joyce, I love this thought and it’s for you today: “You can’t go back and make a new start. But you can start now to make a new ending.” Even in the third third you can invest in others in some area where you have gifts and strengths and you will see fruit produced on their “tree.”

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