The Slow Work of God

Colorado 2I recently discovered this poem by 20th century philosopher and Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin. These words found me in January in the midst of some major discernment, and I’ve both been confronted by and have been clinging to them ever since. This particular poem helps me breathe more deeply while also inviting me onto the ever shifting terrain of holy discomfort.

Today I’m wondering what it means to live each day with purpose but also to accept the reality of incompleteness, to cling to the faith that God’s “hand is leading [me] and accept the anxiety of feeling [myself] in suspense and incomplete.”

What resonates with you?

The Slow Work of God
by 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 immediate 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 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.

 

 

 

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Author:

Imperfect Jesus follower. Feminist. Psychology nerd. INFJ. Ukulele Strummer. Grammar Enthusiast. Incurable klutz. Wanna-be coffee connoisseur. Seminarian. Recovering perfectionist. Broken and made whole. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, and pull up a chair. There is room for you here. Let's wonder about this crazy, beautiful, messy world together.

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