Lessons From the Chinese Bamboo

Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.
Ping Fu

The Chinese bamboo takes five years to grow. Like any plant to flourish, the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. In the first year, there are no visible signs of activity or development. In the second year, again, no growth above the soil. And the third and fourth, still no signs. Patience is tested and we begin tho wonder if our efforts will ever be rewarded. All we are seeing is just the soil that we are watering day in day out. Finally in the fifth year – voila! There is growth…and what growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet (nearly 30m) in just six weeks!

So the question is: Does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did it lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system and a stable base strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? 

The answer is obvious, it was growing underground all this time. 

There are things in life that you have been watering day in day out. People may have “passed you watering” your bamboo tree and because it is not visible to the naked eye, they may start laughing. They may ridicule you because it is taking so long. In fact some of them have watered their plants and reaped a harvest long before yours even start showing. Some even had multiple harvests. But do not get discouraged because just like the Chinese bamboo, what seems like an impossibility, will come to fruition and it will be visible for all to see. And what a sight it will be.

Oftentimes we get depressed because we allow society to set the timelines for our lives. Society tells us that the ideal time to get married is twenty five or twenty six years old for females and thirty for males. Society tells us that we should have children approximately two years after marriage. Society tells us that we should have a degree and a “good” job. Society tells us the ideal weight, height, social status etc. Society tells us that we must have our home and car by a certain age even if it means acquiring debt in order to achieve them. If we dare deviate from these impositions, we are seen as lacking, or unaccomplished. Many of us use these deadlines or timelines to measure our worth or success.

But, I dare you to chart your own path. Water your Chinese bamboo however long takes . Seek God for his direction for your life. Do not allow anyone to make you feel that you are too old or too young to accomplish your dreams. Dance to the beat or your drum that is divinely composed. We are divinely made and God has a plan for our us. Seek him and you will know what it is.

Published by Stacyan Rowe

I am an avid reader who enjoys exploring the world through words. I am a Christian, wife and mother to two amazing boys. I am an English teacher at the secondary level. I love writing and having meaningful discussions.

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