Do you have a hard time being patient?
Maybe you’re waiting for news about a job or a medical diagnosis, are trying to sell your house in a tough market or are eager to meet someone and fall in love. Life involves a lot of waiting.
Patience is difficult!
Lately I have been reminded of my tendency towards impatience as I wait for others to make decisions that will affect the direction of my professional life. At times, I am so impatient that I am physically restless while simultaneously getting bogged down by anxiety-filled thoughts about an uncertain future.
Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest, offers a beautiful meditation on the “slow work of God.” He observes that impatience is a sign of our desire to skip the intermediate stages where God is very much at work within us!
Accepting the anxiety of “feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete” is a sign of trust in God and allowing God’s love and grace to take root. Things will evolve in God’s time, not our time.
Perhaps his words can be of comfort and challenge to you as they have been for me.
The Slow Work of God
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are all, 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,
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 and 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 can say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give God the benefit of believing that the Spirit of God
is leading you, forming you, transforming you;
And accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.