In our instant fast paced culture it is good to be reminded to put on the brakes and take the long view of God’s glorious Kingdom plan. My wife Patty introduced me to the prayer reflection below and it helped me reframe my thoughts about looking at life and ministry with vision that goes beyond our efforts. Working with prisoners, the poor, spiritual and physical orphans, and those experiencing injustice as well as the daily grind of life can get overwhelming at times. Take a moment to read and reflect on these words written by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, Michigan, hopefully it will help you take the Long View!
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 enable 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 masters builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.
Bishop Untener wrote this reflection to honor Oscar Romero a priest in El Salvador. Oscar worked tirelessly to be the voice of Jesus and social justice, speaking out against violence and oppression in the land. Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980.