But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” John 15:17 (NlV)
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
In addition to discovering that my approval addiction was breaking the first commandment (Thou shall have no other gods before me), I’m realizing this culture’s commandment, “Thou shalt perform,” has reeked havoc on my mind and heart and erupted all kinds of insecurity.
The poem of a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, entitled “Patient Trust” is helping me take down the God of Performance. I hope his words stir a desire for you to replace performance anxiety with trust.
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 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,
our 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.
So on my life journey I’m discovering…
- God works progressively and consistently in my life. Realizing this I can see how my timetable competes with His.
- God’s central focus is the “development of my heart,” not “work production.”
- Focusing on my work output distracts me from examining what’s motivating my performing.
- At the times I’m unable to see or measure what God is doing, He remains at work and deserves my trust.
- Living with a confident trust that God is at work in my life prevents insecurity, impatience, and agitation from consuming me.
May you be consumed by Him and freed from anything else.
Father, help me to release my expectations of how I want You to work and to stop directing when I want You to work. Instead, help me live in a state of confident trust that You are at work performing your good work in my life.