November 6, 2021
Working at God’s pace
One of the reasons we are often tempted to take control of a situation and work according to our own plan, is that we feel the pressure of time. We have no time to delay and no time to pray. However, when we take matters into our own hands, we are trying to control the situation and failing to recognize that God must direct our work for it to be fruitful.
In the book Hearts on Fire, a prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, provides some guidance on how we can adopt the patience necessary to do the 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.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- When do you feel anxious or impatient? In these moments are you attempting to control the situation? Next time you feel this way, practice asking God for patience.
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Do you ever feel impatient? Next time you feel impatient, stop to pray. Ask God to help you be calm and understand why it’s sometimes important to slow down.
Pray the prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, written above, reflecting on areas that you might struggle.