Equipping the Saints: Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God

This week’s recommendation is from Rev. Walter Baires, Assistant to the Bishop and Director for Evangelical Mission. Received during a Congregational Vitality training and used today for our staff meeting, it is an inspiring message for any congregations going through transitions. We offer it here for consideration for your use in your settings. It reads:

Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God
By Pierre Tellhard de Chardin, S.J.

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.

Yet, it is the law of all progress that 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 you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that God’s hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
our loving vine-dresser.