I recently realized I’ve not written much about the misdeeds of Wally, our Airedale.
In the past year he has failed to furnish much new material. I also realize my theological discourses do not raise as many comments as my writings about cars, rats, and gardening.
Wally will be seven in July. He is finally maturing into a very fine dog. Mind you, he is still full of beans. While Wally has matured from being a Tasmanian devil of a pup, he still does some disgusting dog stuff, like eating the stinky compost. But he has failed to pull me into the lake after ducks or topple me over into a face skid in the pursuit of squirrels. Wally is still a very fine athlete; his body is hard as a rock, his reflexes as quick as lightening. He has incredible endurance and stamina. He doesn’t pull on the leash as much as he used to but patiently looks back at me with a look that says, “Are you coming?”
The high point of Wally’s day is when Philip comes home from work. Philip would rather veg out with a scotch after his commute from work. Wally has other ideas. It is time for ball! He roots around in his basket of toys and the two of them race around the house, carpets skidding every which way. Wally’s most redeeming quality is that he is very affectionate. All 70 pounds of him climb onto Philip’s lap to lick his face. He is in the middle of our every hug. At night he is on the bed while we read. He stretches out full length with his front leg over Philip’s shoulder and moans with contentment.
As I reflect on life, it seems that it takes half of our span of years to finally get it all together. Wally is seven and may live to 14. I am more than half way through my life and I am still learning valuable lessons on living. So where is God in all this? Everywhere I believe.
I’m not sure why it takes so long to get it all together but I am comforted by a prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest:
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; 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.