The picture above is of a Moso Bamboo grove. The Oscar winning movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was filmed in a giant Moso grove just like this one, in Anji, Zhejian Provence, China. What you are looking at is a 65 foot tall cane that emerged just 6 months earlier and grew at a rate of 2.5 feet per week. This plant can grow to over 75 feet tall, and be more than 7 inches in diameter at full maturity, which takes only about a year. Moso is the largest and fastest growing Bamboo on earth. It grows so fast that a grove of it actually makes a hissing/popping noise as it pushes heavenward, and for those who are patient, it’s growth can actually be seen with the naked eye.
This Bamboo is a wonderful building material and it is used in all kinds of construction throughout China and around the world. For this reason scientists are studying it’s amazing growth properties. They want to unlock how it does what it does without major flaws in the integrity of the wood. Moso also had a more sinister use in days gone by. Enemies of the Emperor who may be withholding vital information, would be strapped down above the growing plants. The results were not good if the individual refused to divulge what they knew, as the bamboo will push right through any obstacle in the way.
As I read the above information a question crossed my mind. How is it that one plant can have such potential for good, but also have an equally destructive potential for evil? Then I considered my experience with people as a minister over the years. I have watched some do the most benevolent things one day, only to turn around and do what is selfish, self-serving and in some cases, downright evil, the next. I have heard people praising someone to the sky and then was shocked as acrid, poisonous comments were leveled at someone else out of the very same mouth.
As I pondered this, I realized that the “Jeckle and Hyde” nature, which so often manifests in people, is only a reflection of what lies hidden within the heart. We are all made the same and we have no choice but to speak from what is living within us. If we are at peace then we know who we are, and we know what we are called to do. This allows us to rejoice in the victories of some, and forgive the thoughtlessness and brutality of others. However, if we are wounded, confused, fearful or uncertain about what the future holds, the picture we see will be a bit darker, and that reality will impact everything we say and do.
This brings us to an important life key that many people miss. That is, the willingness to recognize and embrace the truth of what is going on within us starts a process that can set us free. In that place of freedom we are able to love others for who they are, no matter what they do. Here we can walk with confidence into our life’s mission without being in competition, or unsettled by what others may have done. That’s because we have come to the place of knowing who we are. This is what psychologists call having a life of “congruency”, and it’s a very healthy place to be.
Is your life congruent? Do you know who you are, and are you good with that? If you are wounded, if you are confused or if you are secretly in competition with others, then you have not yet found the place of congruent peace. As we get ready to wrap up another year, why not do so by evaluating where you have been, and where you may be going. If you don’t like what you see, let me encourage you to look within and face those unfaced issues. Bring them into the light and get hold of that which has gotten hold of you.
This will be a process, but in the end, it will be well worth the time and effort invested. Who you really are is waiting to come out. Let 2015 be the year that unlocks your Moso Bamboo potential. The question you must ask right now is quite simple; “What potential do I want to unlock?” Will you benefit from the amazing growth that is possible, or will you find the skeletons of those who were tied down and pierced through by the unresolved issues in your life?The decision is totally up to you, and my desire is that you will take the time as this year draws to an end to choose well. 2015 has the potential to be your best year ever. My hope is that you will do as Jean Luc Picard would say … “Make It So”!