Monday, January 16, 2006

Trust In the Slow Work of God

Above all, trust 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,
and yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stage 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 them 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.

~ Teilhard de Chardin

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Feet of Clay

I am one of those people who always sees the good in everything. At first glance that sounds great, because I'll be the one who is sure to find the silver lining, make lemonade out of lemons (my kids hate that phrase! Ha!), and generally always come up with the blessing in any circumstance. The downside is that sometimes I may be not seeing things I really need to see in order to make good choices, fully rounded thought-out choices, that will affect my life and well-being. My work over the last couple of months (the inner work I mentioned the other day) has been about getting to know that eternal optimist who lives in me and find out why she sometimes plugs her ears and sings real loud when the not-so-optimistic voice wants a chance to talk.

We humans are complex and marvelous beings. It feels funny--a bit ticklish--to begin to poke around at your own innards, asking curious questions about why you view the world the way you do. I've done that kind of questioning on a spiritual level--that's part of what I loved so much about seminary--but I feel as though I'm on new ground with Kathy the Human. I feel that I understand the spiritual me fairly well, but the more human me I haven't given as much attention. So the New Year brings an interesting, curious, and adventuresome feel for me. If I really want to walk and talk in the Garden with God, I better find out more about the human being's feet I'm walking in. It's bound to be an interesting journey. You're welcome to come along. Just pack a couple of peanut butter sandwiches. We humans get hungry. :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

All in All

Happy New Year! I hope this year is gleaming with hope and promise for you. I have been doing a lot of work--internal work and external work, public work and private work--but it's all good. :) One of the themes that seems to be arising again and again in my thought and my life and my understanding is the idea of All in All. When things look dark, there's a little bit of light. When things are light, there's a little bit of dark. And varying degrees of light, on a continuum from bright to night. I laugh and tears spring to my eyes. I'm sad and the boys make me laugh. I find a moment of peace springing up unexpectedly in the middle of a hectic afternoon. I lounge through a quiet morning and suddenly burst into a frenzy of busy-ness. People who love us sometimes hurt us. And people who hurt us sometimes love us. I still tend to want to stack life up into neat little piles--but that's really just my attempt to compartmentalize the rich, swirling, unboxable essence of the All. The All in All means that there is that love and hurt and hope and despair and communion and isolation all swirling around us every moment like so many scents on a spring breeze. It's all there. What will we notice? Is it a busy day or a quiet day? Was it a good movie or a bad movie? If it's All in All, there's bits of all of it there, built right into the mix of the moment.