Remembering to Take My Time

Source: Jesuits in Britain

I am in my last few weeks of my undergraduate degree at Campion College with deadlines fast approaching for papers, assignments, and everything else life seems to be throwing my way. I can smell the end, the triumph of having worked tirelessly over the past four and a half years to achieve my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in French; I want it to be done so that I can just move on with my life.

And this stress and desire have been eating at me. They are this negative weight bearing down on my shoulders, on my life, and they are exhausting me and making me irritable. But, still, even knowing this, I want to be done. I want to graduate and relax!

I want to have all these things in life that I know God wants for me to be given to me already, then I can declare, at the very old age of 23, that I am ready to retire. Boom. And then spend the rest of my life relaxing. Unfortunately, this is not how life works.

On Wednesdays, I serve as acolyte at mass. The normal celebrant was not there this week, he was giving a speech at La Cité on reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians. The celebrant this week was a priest whom I have come to know and respect although we have sparred on a few issues. I have so much respect for him and find comfort in his guidance.

The attendance at mass was poor this week; there were the celebrant, myself, and two sisters. So, instead of giving a long homily, the celebrant spoke briefly then read us a prayer that has resonated with me. It is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ’s prayer of Patient Trust.

Patient Trust. How can I be patient when I am told the world is my oyster? How can I be patient when I know what I want in life? I want to skip to the end, just as Teilhard describes. It is hard to trust in the slow work of God when one knows what one wants and whom one loves.

Life is complicated. And it gets more and more complicated as we delve further into this century, as society around us keeps accelerating faster so that all we see around us is like when they jump to hyper-speed/warp-speed in Star Wars and Star Trek.  When will it ever stop? The simple truth is that it will stop when we breathe our last breath.

I am nowhere near ready to breathe my last breath. There is a whole life in front of me. I will finish this degree. I will see things my grandparents never saw. I will love and feel heartbreak. Hopefully, I will find that one true love and live happily ever after.

I will follow my passions. I will continue exploring, learning, and probably wanting to move faster along the line of life. But, as Teilhard says, only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within [me] will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading [me], and accept the anxiety of feeling [myself] in suspense and incomplete.

Luke Gilmore is a fourth year BA Hon Political Science major at Campion College, the University of Regina. In 2016, as a co-op student, Luke worked at the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.

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