Reflections by Jerry Webber

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Journey of Unknowing (part 4): Trust 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 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, in Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, 58.]

I'll not comment on these oft-heard words, written by Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin. They are worth your time and slow meditation, phrase by phrase. But I will offer some questions that might help you reflect on them for your own experience. You might reflect on these words over several days, allowing the words to speak to you over time.

**What do you hear in these words?

**In what ways do you identify with phrases or ideas de Chardin shares?

**What challenges you?

**To what do you feel resistance?

**What might be God's invitation to you in these words?

**Is there some concrete action or step you might take to allow these words to be worked more fully into your self?

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