Saturday, April 14, 2012

Taking the long view

Recently I was talking to a friend about my future hopes to be fulfilled by completing some projects. Rather sharply he responded: "Be careful about saying that you want to be fulfilled. That's not the way you should view things!" He then told me about the statement by Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador in 1980. "I'll give you a copy" he promised. Well, some time has passed by and I have just received it. And am I grateful?!

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit beings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.We are prophets of a future not our own.

Doesn't this really demands serious attention? I tell you, I keep returning to this words with gratitude for their perspective. Perhaps they are helpful to you, too? Much to ponder over.

1 comment:

Tara Beth Leach said...

I needed this timely for me! As a mom of two little boys, pursuing seminary, full - time ministry, wife, friend and the list goes on... I can't do it all with perfection... we need to give ourselves breaks now and then!