Once upon a time a man planted a bamboo tree. It was a small seedling and the man cared for it each day. He watered it and made sure it had the proper sunlight to grow. After a year's time, the man saw that the plant had not grown at all, but he continued the watering and caring for it.
After the second year the plant had not grown, but he continued watering and caring for it through the third and the fourth year. Suddenly, as if by magic, in the fifth year it began growing. In fact, it grew two and a half feet a day until in six weeks it was ninety feet tall.
The bamboo tree's growth is not magic. During its first five years, when it seems nothing is happening, it develops miles of roots beneath the ground. Though no growth is visible, the foundation is being established and strengthened.
The lesson: There are times when we feel our lives are standing still and nothing is changing. In reality, those are the days we are building our own roots and growing strong for the days ahead.