A few years ago this poem was given to me while on retreat. I need to read it and sit with it more often. I am impatient at times. Not so much with others, but with myself. Okay, sometimes with others, but only if things aren’t moving as quickly as I’d like.
Trusting in the slow work of God is hard. Mostly because we are in a hurry to get to the end, to the very important thing we must do. Sometimes though a plan is necessary, waiting is needed, life takes time and if we rush it along, there can be negative consequences. Think of baking a cake; if it says to bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees but you are in a hurry and turn the oven up to 500 to bake it faster it’s not going to work.
Life, living it to the fullest, becoming the person God calls us to become, takes time. It will happen. In God’s time, by trusting in his slow work.
Trust in the Slow Work of God
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end
We should like to skip
The intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on
The way to something unknown,
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 will make 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.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
Our loving vine-dresser. Amen.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
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