Let me say it from the start; there’s no shortcut to success. There’s no simple, quick-fix path. Some ways are more comfortable than others, but there’s no bypassing the necessary stops to grow. A child cannot be 4ft tall without being 3ft 5 inches and on. You can’t skip the required steps. I hope that’s clear.
Notwithstanding, we’ve all heard stories of people who made it “all of a sudden.” We’ve also heard of those who followed the prescribed path and still failed or never got to their final destination. We’ll never be able to understand it all, but the little we know points us in the direction of God who can favor anyone he wants at any point in time. We know God can undo earthly principles in our favor if he chooses to. But a question for another day is what the purpose of your ask to bypass the process is? Is the intent selfish? As I said, a subject for another day.
Here is a quick story to point us to the importance of going long, being patient, and not attempting to find shortcuts.
I heard the story of the miracle of the Chinese bamboo tree recently. A version of the story goes as follow. Two farmers in a small village in China wanted to plant a tree that would profit their families for generations to come. They were both told of the bamboo tree and how profitable it could be, but that the investment in it took several years. One farmer wasn’t comfortable with how long it’ll take. He wanted to see the fruits of his labor during next year’s harvest season, and so he went with planting an apple tree which would yield fruit yearly as it grows. The other farmer was willing to wait. He wasn’t looking for a shortcut to success, he wanted the real deal and was ready to wait.
Like any tree, the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires tending. But the attention needed for the Chinese bamboo tree was much more than most men could handle. The tree required daily watering, without any visible results. At the end of the first year, the farmer had nothing to show for his 365 days of hard labor. At the end of the second year, again, no growth above the soil. By the third year of daily tendering, the farmer was tempted to give in but resolved within himself not to let his fears derail him from his purpose. At the end of the fourth, still nothing.
Finally, the fifth year — here it is, a miracle! A stub, about a foot high, is noticed one morning. Over the next six weeks, the tree that had no visible appearance of growth sprout to 90 feet tall. The return on investment was undoubtedly worth it, as the farmer who grew apples could only present a certain number of fruits, the bamboo tree contrarily could present a greater return on investment.
It is, however, tempting to think the miracle and growth were overnight. The truth is the tree was growing all along, the roots were being strengthened underneath the soil. There was a need for the source to be secured to sustain the tower coming forth above. Had the tree not developed a robust unseen root it could not have supported its life as it grew.
We can apply the same concept of the Chinese bamboo story above to our purpose in life. You may not see the results of your growth, your caring for your heart, your daily devotions, your nightly prayers, your attention to detail and your daily grind. You may not directly see the impact on your finances, your marriage or your career. But know this, whatever it is that God gives you, whatever situation you find yourself in, the end will be glorious and worthy of the time put in the confines of patience. Moreover, there’s character building involved. Even when you don’t see the positive results, God always has something planned for you. The Bible said, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” — Romans 8:28.
So don’t spend time looking for shortcuts when God’s plans for you are long term. The goals you’ve set, if done right, cannot be achieved overnight. Stay focused, work on meeting your objectives, and avoid being derailed looking for get-rich-quick fixes.