It Helps, Now and Then

The following words, which are often attributed to the late Bishop Oscar Romero, were actually written by the former Bishop of Saginaw, Ken Untener. No matter who wrote or spoke these words, they have been a source of inspiration and encouragement to many of us. These words are regularly shared or prayed during staff orientations, board meetings, and other gatherings of Tall Turf folk.

It helps now and then to step back and take the long view
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts; it is even beyond out 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 another way
of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that can be said; no prayer fully expresses our faith;
No confession brings wholeness; no programme accomplishes the Church’s mission;
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

That is what we are about: we plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that hold future promise,
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something, and 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 (God) and the worker. We are workers not master builders
ministers not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

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