Round Again

Cultivating Patience with God

I baked rhubarb custard pies today, a distinctly summer activity, marking for me the round of seasons.  I don’t know how others do it, but when I fold my crust rim, I do it slowly, turning the pie plate many times to achieve the final elegant, fluted plain, curving edge.  On each round I make subtle changes, first merely turning up the dough, then pinching it, smoothing it, shaping it.  The pie plate spins, and eventually it arrives.

Usually, I am eager to finish a thing.  I have sometimes prided myself on how quickly I can finish a task and still do it well.  But today I enjoyed the leisurely progress of my work, the soft warmth of the dough, the wobbly dance of the turning pan.  And it occurred to me that this is God’s way with us.  While rare, cataclysmic moments can bring faster change, it is the ordinary work of many seasons which sculpts the final shape of our souls.

I am impatient.  I want to see real-time results, instantly, if possible.  I want to see those results in my work, in myself, in my friends, in the planet.  And yet, I serve the One for Whom a millennium is like one quiet evening at home.  He turns the seasons, spinning the earth, pressing subtle changes into my heart and my world.  What would it take to be satisfied with His patient artistry, with the slow spin, the long obedience, the needful work?  To steady the erratic beating of my heart, to enjoy the quiet progress of His work, to accept that I am right where I am supposed to be at just this moment?  And that you are, too?

As long as life keeps on, we are changing and being changed.  In time we will arrive, but before that happens, it’s likely we will all go round again.  “And God saw that it was good.”

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