The story of the bamboo and the fern tells of a man who, after losing all hope, goes to God and asks for one final reason why he should not quit on life; God tells him to look around at the bamboo and the fern. When He planted the seeds, God explains, the fern sprouted almost immediately, and continued to prosper more each year; the bamboo seed, on the contrary, did not sprout or do anything for five years. Yet, when it finally broke out of the ground, it grew to heights previously unimagined. The time it remained dormant, the seed was never idle; it simply used that time to incubate within the warm womb of the earth and grow strong roots.
The things that truly mean something in our lives are not the ones that sprout immediately. Our love and dedication, our passion and determination incubate and lay powerful roots that will allow our creations to have a long, prosperous life.
Kids are a wonderful example of this concept. Often, we don’t see the results of our teachings until our children make their own way into the world. Although we may question our own parenting skills while we are raising them and walk with them through the many challenging phases of growing up, the values, morals, and concepts we instill in them lay dormant within, and use the time to develop a root system that will support them once they are out on their own.
The same applies to any project we feel passionate about. We may feel as if we are wasting our time by working hard toward something that is not yielding instant gratification, but our efforts will be rewarded in due time.
Each moment we dedicate to our projects, each new thing we learn, are steps that get us a little close to the day when our dreams will finally break the hard soil and will grow proudly to heights we never imagined possible.