This week I am participating in a writing challenge sponsored by @HopeWriters. The word prompt today is “slow.” On my social media, I posted thoughts about the slowness of sanctification. And then, I found this poem published in a Jesuit prayer book. It captures the heart of the slow growth in sanctification!
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
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 goodwill)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit by believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
If you missed the social media post – here it is in its entirety:
Slow and steady wins the race!
There are so many things I desire to happen quickly. I want chores to end as soon as possible, meals to cook in less than 30 minutes, and wi-fi to connect even more rapidly! We look for the fastest route to destinations, quick solutions to complex problems, shortcuts for achieving our goals sooner rather than later.
AND if Jesus would conform me to His image quickly, just ZAP me – I would want that too. BUT in many ways, sanctification is a slow process. James Houston is quoted saying, “Spiritual formation is the slowest of all human movements.”
Paul writes, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
I need daily renewal because I am a clay vessel, given to leaking.
I need daily renewal because I am like a sheep, prone to wander.
I need daily renewal because I have an adversary seeking to devour me, putting temptation in my way.
Daily renewal implies a slow-growing process. Participating with God in our daily renewal develops our patience and increases our hope. Anticipation builds knowing that our final redemption draws near!
To participate in our daily renewal, we slow down to wait on God. He invites us to be still in His presence, choosing to walk in the light He gives and trusting His heart. We first seek His righteousness, pursue peace and holiness, live obediently, and repent readily.
While it might seem that the slow road to sanctification is all about us, our effort, God is the one who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure! He completes the good work He has begun in us!
We can trust Him, for our sanctification will be accomplished!
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