The seed goes into the ground. It is nourished and watered every day for five years. After the fifth year, the seed breaks through the ground. In a matter of weeks, it is an eighty foot tree. This is the Chinese Bamboo tree.
I have never heard about this tree until I listened to this short clip by Les Brown.
Imagine being charged with the task of caring for this seed. Miss one day in the five years, and you could jeopardize the seed breaking through the earth. Fully aware of the consequences, you do your task. You trust the process, knowing that if you are faithful until the end, you will reap the rewards. You know what it reminds me of?
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” –Matthew 17:20
There is a seed within me. For decades, it was dormant. It wasn’t getting the nutrients and the water it needed to break through. A little over a year ago, I started to cultivate it. It was time to do the work of a gardener and get busy with life’s purposes. I am on year two and part of me is frustrated. I see seeds sprouting in those around me. When will my seed break through? I have to remind myself I am still in the early stages. I don’t know how long it will take, but I do know that I must continue to water and fertilize.
I tell myself, “I’m gonna move that mountain.” This seems like an impossible task, until I am reminded of the words of Confucius. He said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away a small stone.” A small stone at a time means the mountain won’t be moved in a day. This is faith in action. I believe the mountain can be moved, and so I chip away a bit at a time. Faith and persistence. Water and fertilizer.
What does the gardener gain from the five years of nurturing the seed? Is it the tree? It may be the only thing the world sees or even judges, but there is more than just the tree. There is the gardener. Not the same person who started the journey five years ago, but a new person. A different person.
Trust the process. Have Faith. Persist. Water and fertilize.
To be successful, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have. -Les Brown