The Californian author and self-confessed amateur gardener, Rick Warren, shares this story:
Of all the growth patterns I’ve observed as a gardener, the growth of the Chinese bamboo tree is the most amazing to me.
Plant a bamboo sprout in the ground, and for 4 or 5 years (sometimes much longer) nothing happens!
You water and fertilize, water and fertilize, water and fertilize—but you see no visible evidence that anything is happening. Nothing!
But about the fifth year things change dramatically. In a six-week period the Chinese bamboo tree grows to a staggering ninety feet tall!
World Book Encyclopedia records that one bamboo plant can grow three feet in a simple twenty-four-hour period.
It seems incredible that a plant that lies dormant for years can suddenly explode with growth, but it happens without fail with bamboo trees.
Warren concludes his parable by calling his readers not to worry about growth and to focus on faithful care and nourishing.
Source: Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996), 393-394.
Dr Geoff Pound
Chinese Bamboo Tree, Anecdotes and Fables [This is a simplified account of the story]
Image: Chinese Bamboo Tree.