I’ve shared this before, awhile back. This time, though, I thought I’d share what these words have come to mean to me. This poem was sent to me a couple of years ago, at a time when I was ‘fed up’ with how slowly things were moving for me. And I come back to it many times, to remind myself that change takes time…
Patient Trust 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.
CHANGE – In this society we’ve created, that wants everything immediately, we find it difficult to accept that real change takes time. We want to be done, so we can move on to the next big thing…
We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
PERSEVERANCE – There can be many stages to change – not just a first and last stage, which is what we would greatly prefer! It’s important for us to be able to accept each stage gracefully, and not lose faith in the process.
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.
PATIENCE – In our efforts to create change in our lives, we may take two steps forward and one step back. This is normal! We are trying to create something new, a way of being that we’re totally unfamiliar with. We will stumble, we will fall, and that’s perfectly fine. We will want to quit, and, we might, for a time, have to take a break. The only real failure is in giving up – in deciding you just can’t do it.
And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually – let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
WAIT – Waiting is sometimes exactly what we need. In the waiting is where growth takes place. In the waiting is where integrity and strength of character develop. In the waiting is where our spirit blossoms…
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.
STILLNESS – It’s easy to run around trying to force things to happen. It’s easy (but not fun!) to live life from a place of anxiety. Trying to be still and to allow things to open up for us, that is the hard part.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming in you will be.
TRUST – This speaks to me of trusting that my life is not just in my own hands…that I’ve been created by God for a greater purpose, and even though I might not be able to see the answers before me in every second, God certainly knows…
Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
PEACE – I’ve intentionally used the opposite word to anxiety here. Nowadays, I try to live my life from a place of knowing that because I believe in God and I know He/She*** has a plan for my life, that ultimately living in a state of constant anxiety is not going to be beneficial to me in any way. So I consciously try to chose peace – over anxiety, over desperation, over fear.
I assure you that I have not always lived this way…these are traits I have come to adopt over the years. And I’m not always successful, either (as I’m sure you’ve already noticed in my previous posts)! Developing and living with these traits is an ongoing life lesson. But more and more, these things are becoming a way of life for me. And more and more, I am able to accept that whatever is happening in my life at any given moment, has come to me to teach me, instead of to cause me to feel/live from a place of terror….
***Just a note about the He/She reference I make to God (because it may offend some) I grew up with the notion that God has always been a He. I believe differently, now. God is a Spirit. And I believe, nowadays, that He/She is neither gender, and both genders. That is why I often refer to God as Him/Her. I believe that God can be for us a father, or a mother – whichever it is that we need. Just my opinion, you are free to believe otherwise! 🙂