The Slow Work of God

There are some days I wake up, drink my morning coffee, and I am rip-raring-ready for the day — ready to take on the world!

Then there are days when I wake up and it’s like my legs have been filled with cement and my mind with molasses. No amount of coffee seems to clear the fog, and I wonder if what I do really matters. This morning was such a morning, and when I feel like this, I wonder what Jesus would say to me. And honestly, I think it would be something very much like this Prayer of 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 would 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 in you will be.

Give our God the benefit of believing that God’s hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
1

Though accepting the “anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete” is no easy task, I think it may be one of the most profound acts of the Christian life.

When I was a teenager I spent hours pondering what I would be when I grew up, if I would fall in love, if I would marry or have children, or if I would find meaningful work. I am positive I spent hours stressing, dreaming, thinking, praying about these things. Some of it may have been helpful in my discernment of how to be a faithful follower of Christ, but I would say the majority of that time was spent on needless worry.

We have not yet become who it is God is forming us to be. And that is actually okay, or even, beautiful. There is beauty and joy to be found in this journey, even on the days when getting out of bed is less than easy.

I pray God gives you peace this day — that you give our God the benefit of believing God is with you, that you are beloved, and that you are still, no matter your age, not yet finished.

[1] Predmore, John. “Prayer: Patient Trust by Teilhard De Chardin.” Prayer: Patient Trust by Teilhard De Chardin, 1 Jan. 1970, predmore.blogspot.com/2009/10/prayer-patient-trust-by-teilhard-de.html.