At the end of each school year I read the following passage to our 8th graders:
“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 in the way of 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 good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you. And accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; an excerpt from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day-by-Day.
I read it to them as an encouragement that as they go into high school, to trust that the Lord is leading them, that He is forming them into who He has created them to be, that in all the anxiety that comes with growing up, we have a Savior who is guiding us.
Since I read this to our last class of 8th graders at the beginning of the summer, I have found myself to also be in need of this word. It is not just in our growing up years that we face anxiety over what is to happen in our lives, where we are going, what God is doing.
I have felt it especially in the midst of this season, as the possibility of returning to “normal life” seems to be further and further away. I have needed the encouragement, and maybe you do as well, that our Savior is working, even in this. That His hand is leading us, that we need only trust in His work, even when it is slow and we cannot see the end.
May we believe that He is forming a new spirit within us, continuing his work of drawing us nearer to himself, through both His grace and these circumstances.