God is not in a hurry. He is in the process of helping us become more like Him. This takes time. What do we do in the slow work? Is this the place that something beautiful emerges? Could it be the place where we find and experience Him more than ever? I don't know about you but I wrestle when things are moving slowly. I tend to have my eye on where I 'should' be or want to be or need to be instead of right where I am.
I came across this poem a few years ago and it had a profound impact on my life. I was actually on a silent retreat and this poem was in our guided reflection. I had taken a walk after reading it and came upon a garden. The gardener had just planted the seeds a few weeks before. Some of the seeds were sprouting and some were yet to be seen. I love God's timing in this moment in my life. He knew I would enjoy a visual to help me go deeper into this invitation of the slow work of God. I stood in awe reflecting on this garden and the slow work of these plants growing and becoming. Under the ground, where I couldn't see so many things were actually happening. Roots were being formed. Nutrients being given. Growth would be evident at some point. That was the most important part of the plants becoming what they were meant to be. This deep unseen work. This shaping and forming by the hands of their Creator.
Was this the most important part on the journey of becoming more like Christ?
The slow work of God.
I am learning to love the slow. I am learning to love His invitation to inner growth and healing. I am learning to trust. I am learning to accept what is and not what is not. It is still hard but as I look back over my life and I see His hand in the waiting, not yet or even no. This might be the place that I grow the most....accepting. I have found freedom in accepting. Maybe you will too as you read, "Patient Trust" by Shardin.
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 excerpted from Hearts on Fire
Guided Reflection Questions
Pause. Simply Be. Invite the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and guide you as you reflect on the slow work of God.
What seems to be moving slow in your life?
What can we learn about God in this poem?
What stands out to you?
What is your invitation today?
May God bless you in your holy pause! Do you know someone that might be encouraged by this poem? I would love for you to share it with them.
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