This week, I ran across this quote from in Common Prayer, a liturgy for ordinary radicals.
Oscar Romero wrote,
“It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts: it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is the Lord’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us. No sermon says all that should 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. That is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted knowing they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that affects 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, 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 that is not our own.”
Whether you share his faith or not, I find it comforting and motivating to keep in mind that we cannot do everything ourselves. Our lives are connected to the larger whole of humanity and creation, we have a role to play and hopefully we will play it very well. But, our lives are ultimately going to be incomplete. There will always be more we wish we could have done, but that should not prevent us from doing all that we can.
Have a great week!