Friday, August 22, 2008

We are workers, not master builders

As we embark together on the road of transition and change, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Yet we are only called to take one step at a time, one day at time. That is all our living God asks of us. We are always in a state of becoming, of growing into the fullness of being the Beloved. We are a work in progress. 

I take great solace in the life and witness of Oscar Romero, who was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador. He fearlessly opposed the his country's ruling junta, and he was gunned down by a death squad at his Altar in March 1980. Soon before his death, he said this, and his words are timeless:

"This is what we are about: We plant 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 effects 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 God'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."
 

2 comments:

William said...

Jim,

Really struck by that final phrase: "Prophets of a future not our own." How difficult, and how necessary, that challenge is.

Bill

Peter Carey said...

I have this prayer glued into the back of my BCP, and I have used it in various contexts...thanks for posting it here!

Good to meet you two Sundays ago.

I hope you are beginning to settle in, and I pray that a home will soon open up that matches your needs,

Peace,

Peter+