Monday, June 7, 2010

The Long View

My colleague shared this prayer for Morning Report meditation.

She explained, she had been sad one afternoon, feeling a bit helpless from her recent pastoral care visit. (I know that feeling, I thought, it's pretty common around here.) Then someone shared this with her, she said, and it lightened her heart.

I, too, share this prayer here because it lightened my heart. It has since has been the source of not a few memorable conversations.

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 brings 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.

By Archbishop Oscar Romero, a human rights activist from El Salvador in the 1970s

How are you taking the long view in this moment?

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