... in slowing down
In this era of convenience and fast food there has been an interesting fashion for slow food. Slow-cooked lamb, fermented foods like kefir or kimchi, and bread like sourdough (which takes 8-12 hours to rise as opposed to 2) are all thought to taste better than some of their convenience equivalents, and to somehow be better for us.
I'm a bit slapdash in artistic things. I tend to rush things (handwriting, pictures, craft projects). I did art classes at one time and the teacher was amazed at the speed with which I painted things (small presents for friends and family). She seemed a little envious at my speed but also despaired because she realised that I was happy to go at this frenetic pace rather than slowing down to hers and actually learning something from it.
It is only much more recently that I've begun to realise that art develops better when it is created slowly. Even I in my amateurish fashion create things in layers. Each layer takes time. The first layer is sometimes semi-obliterated by the first, and top layer partly obliterates the second, yet this process of creating layers is what makes something more meaningful, deeper, and, I think, more beautiful. Sometimes people say to me 'I don't know how you have the patience.' I am not patient, I think, I just have faith that the process will be worth it. That's a different thing.
The work of God in each of us is surely the same. The slow growth, the building up of ideas, sensations. Accompanied by a forward momentum, but one sometimes difficult to see. My favourite quotation from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ is "Above all, trust in the slow work of God." I should just breathe deeply and repeat that everyday, as I look about me.
Prayer of Teilhard de Chardin SJ