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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The long view

I recently attended a meeting for a committee I joined for my church's mother's group. The leader of the meeting said this prayer in preparation for the undertaking of a large fundraiser we are preparing for in November. While the prayer was very fitting for the meeting, it is also fitting for my life. 
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.
Amen.
If one is not careful, motherhood can become a losing battle to have it all. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with all the things that we feel are necessary; a spotless house, perfectly behaved children, time to workout, a home cooked dinner served by 5:30pm. Not to mention chauffeuring kids back and forth to preschool, time with the hubby, and all those craft ideas I have pinned on Pinterest. 
I cannot do everything. Try as I may, I cannot. It is very liberating to write these words. I can still be a good mother, wife, nurse, daughter, friend and not do everything. When Jude's therapist asks what I have done this week, I can say not as much as I would have liked. I can invite people over even though the house is a mess and I can order pizza out for those nights when making dinner is just too much. 
Remembering that I am part of something larger, something beyond my reach helps me to focus on the activities, jobs, and people that are most meaningful. What I can do, I can do well and know that God is there for the things I cannot do. His grace is ever present. It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
St. Jude: Pray for us.

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