Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would 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. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine-dresser.”
A Regent friend shared this recently on facebook and it struck a chord deep within in regard to where we are standing right now. Instability describes so much of our journey right now. We stand on the cusp of a new week each Sunday with hopes that this week normality will return, normal routine and plans will fall into place, food budget will be balanced once more as meals are planned and cooked rather than quick easy buys and take aways, and that there will be order. But for the last while God’s plans and ours have veered in radically different directions it seems. As I read on another blog this week I was reminded of the contrast between the esteemed hopes and aspirations found on pinterest and what God has pinned on our days. And just to ensure that while I may feel my days might be veering off on a different path the Spirit’s nudges led me to another article written by a friend on learning the art of extending kindness and tenderness to oneself when the days were not forming as one had hoped and allowing healing to come and tend one’s wounds.
The slow work of God. Maybe the slow cooker that I have spent the past few days researching and pondering is not simply a whimsical kitchen dream but a nudging of the Spirit. Meals are not to be rushed in the preparation or the eating. And in allowing the meat and the vegetables and the spices to fill our home with aroma God hopes to remind me of His slow work. His slow work in my life, in the life of my boys, in the life of those around me. We all know short cuts, recipes for meals in 20 minutes, news before it has happened, my own two boys whose brains, bodies and mouths tumble rapidly toward the open sea. There are few gentle streams of still waters for me to lie beside and yet God is leading me to them. To let healing guide the days, to the thought of slow cooking, to praise Him for He is unchanging. He is the rock to which I cling as the waters tumble round and over and past me. He is the rock I can lean against and let me legs dangle in the stream of slow and tender healing.
And this is so true in parenting as well. With two small boys there are days when I long for them to know and use their manners, remember their indoor voices, to stop whinging. In other words to be sinless. Yet God is one who works slowly and carefully. He does not expect me to be perfect this side of eternity. Yes He calls me to follow Him, to be holy as He is Holy but He also knows He has not finished His work with me and therefore this side of eternity there will still be days, hours and weeks when I am far from being holy as He is Holy. So why do I parent with such impatience? Why do I who is far from the parent God is with me expect greater results in my 4 and 1 year old boys? Why am I not willing to let the raising of our children be a slow work of trust, patience, love and mercy?
Lord I ask for grace to trust Your slow work both in myself and in the lives of my boys. To steep myself in the aroma of life lived in community with a hope set before us.