From Pastor Bill…
Dear Pittman Park family,
Through the years I have come to understand that much of life has to do with waiting. I saw someone today with a t-shirt emblazoned with that classic Nike slogan “Just Do It.” I suppose, when it comes to sports or exercise, that is good encouragement. However, from my experience, a lot of life has to do with waiting. Perhaps you know this too.
I’m not always good at waiting. But I’m convinced that waiting – in the right way – can provide purpose and direction for life. Throughout his ministry Jesus was of course on a mission, but it was often that he looked into the future without hastening toward it. His pattern was one of waiting in prayer. The gospel writers share that it was often that he would make his retreat early in the morning or late in the evening to find time for prayer. While Jesus gave his disciples the script for a simple prayer, it is obvious his own methodology was a pattern of waiting in the presence of his heavenly Father.
Sometimes, prayer itself can be filled with impatience. When have you prayed and asked God for an answer with as much sincerity and faith as you can muster …and still there is this incompleteness, this waiting. Learning to persist in prayer when there is little evidence that anything is happening can seem strange and even troublesome. And yet, this is the very point at which prayer can become transformative for us. I enjoy the writings of the late Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest. One poem of his particularly speaks to this matter of our seemingly “unanswered prayers.” I share it with you for your reflections on what God may be up to in your life…
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.
And yet it is the law of 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.
May God use even our times of waiting and wondering to draw us close to him.
Be at Peace,