Friday, October 16, 2009

Trust in the slow work of God, Teilhard de Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually–let them grow,
Let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
(hat tip to Inward/Outward blog)

I tend to be impatient. I get ahead of myself when I see something that I feel needs to be done, and I can slip into a mode of rushing around to get it done. It is harder for me to wait, to wait upon God, to be patient. Being patient, for me, at times can feel like I am merely stuck - that nothing is happening at all, that there is no motion toward an end. I suppose my impatience happens when I forget the work of the Spirit in our lives, it happens when I forget the work of God's grace ever working, and I forget that "it" doesn't depend on me, alone. But, I know in my heart that when I have the courage to wait and to trust in the slow work of God that my vision becomes clearer and that I see evidence of the Spirit at work, forming something new.

I pray that we all might have the patience that Teilhard de Chardin speaks of in this beautiful poem, recognizing that new life takes time to grow, and that we would do well to "accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete."

Praying for patience, for me, and for you,

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