Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trust 2

Yesterday I posted a poetic prayer by Teillhard de Chardin. It is beautiful and wise to me.

Teillhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a French Jesuit, scientist and theologian. As a paleontologist, biologist, philosopher and Christian visionary, Teillhard dedicated his life to the idea that the whole cosmos and everything in it was connected, that one heartbeat drove it all. He envisioned a convergence of heart, not mind, through a global information network.

Not far from what contemporary quantum physics is telling us and what Christian biblical theology has implied and often stated in phrases like “All things are one in Christ.” Or the vision of Godde drawing all things into divinity for ultimate wholeness.

Teillhard was a man of faith so he writes as he prays. To me his way of speaking about trust and patience has turns of phrase that were ahead of his time but right on. For example: Trust in Ourselves and the Slow Work of God. Notice the and, a linking word. The relationship of humanity and divinity is intimately connected—enough to be a partnership. Your earthly life in time evolves by a process of grace and circumstances acting on your own good will. It may take a Very long time to get to where most of us think we want to, or must, be—yesterday.

I envision a dance, a waltz like I did once with my dad. We started out clumsy and stepping all over each other’s feet. He was a fine dancer and I had no ballroom grace. He took the lead. I resisted, my control needs in high gear. He wrapped his strong arm tightly around me. I began at last to get the rhythm; our hearts and our feet moved to one beat. The feeling was a mysterious combination of deep peace and thrill. We were one. And, silly bonus, we won the waltz contest.

That’s spirituality—the graceful moment when it all comes together, you are in harmony with everyone and everything, and you are gratefully surprised. It is, as Teillhard says, as if there is more to it than just your will alone.

Going with the flow is a great idea, but you can’t make it happen, but simply be willing for it to happen when you decide to trust rather than push.

My waltz with Dad didn’t take very long but lots of other things have and do. Teillhard suggests we give God the benefit of our doubt, letting God believe he or she is leading—what I did with Dad, only he really was leading.