The Chinese Bamboo plant starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in the dirt, and you water the seed. Very little seems to happen the first year. Despite your efforts, only a tiny shoot pokes out of the ground.
So…..the second year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.
So…..the third year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.
So…..the fourth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed…..Nothing happens.
So…..the fifth year you water and fertilize and protect the seed.….Finally, during the fifth year, the Chinese Bamboo plant begins to grow. In fact, it grows 90 feet tall in just 6 weeks!
The question is, did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or in five years? The answer, of course, is that it grew 90 feet in five years. It took five years to grow the root system that would one day support a 90-foot plant.
People are often like the Chinese Bamboo plant. We invest hours and hours trying to develop ourselves or others, and nothing happens. We spend years discipling our children to follow the Lord, but…..nothing happens. We hold countless meetings with our staff members to coach them in the development of their strengths and developmental areas, but…….nothing happens. We redouble our efforts to help a friend make better decisions, but…….nothing happens.
If you’re like most people, you will be tempted to give up. Don’t do it! If you give up, the seeds you planted will die. But if you continue to care for the seeds, one day (when you least expect it) the results of your labor will seem to magically appear overnight!
If the Chinese Bamboo plant immediately shot up 90 feet in the first year, one strong wind would blow it down. By growing deep before it grows tall, it gains the strength it needs to withstand the force of heavy winds. Similarly, lasting growth starts on the inside of people. It’s difficult to see that change is taking place, but this is a necessary process. The growing they do on the inside creates strength of character and conviction.
Don’t give up hope! Your efforts will be rewarded! Once the root system is established, your growth or the growth of those you are coaching will spring up seemingly overnight!