During my years as a secondary school Campus Minister I taught a course in Christian Service and always began and ended the course with the prayer/poem below. When the students first showed up for the course all they wanted was to jump ahead and get out to direct service. They were impatient with the intermediary stages of theological reflection on their experience and learning about the systemic issues related to direct service.
I think it's fair to say that by the end of the course they had a much better sense of this prayer. In some ways the course was a process of living this reality.
Trust in the Slow Work of Godby Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1881-1955, Jesuit, Paleontologist, Biologist, Philosopher, and Visionary
Above all, trust in the slow work of GodWe 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 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.