Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

Yes, every day is the first day. This, the first day of October, 2008, also marks the first week in 50 years that I have been officially unemployed. (In the "olden days," twelve-year old babysitters were paid 25 cents an hour for taking care of five kids, BTW.)

In the midst of packing and preparation for work in Kenya, I am also praying the words below. Often attributed to "Monsenor" (as the Archbishop preferred to be called) Oscar Romero, they were actually written by The Rev. Ken Untener:

"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...

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."


Catherine Grace, CHS said...

When I joined a religious community, nearly twenty years ago, I experienced the first "unemployed" day since I was fifteen. A rather strange sensation — yet at the same time incredibly freeing. May your commitment to the health and well-being of our sisters and brothers in Maseno fill you with that sense of trust in God, essential well-being of the soul, and delight in serving others.

kate said...

Hi Mom,
I am just taking a break from some work and thinking of you on your journey to Africa today. I decided to look at your blog to see the latest (so that I could feel a bit closer to you, no doubt). Your post of Rev. Ken Untener's words made my day. Thanks for your continued inspiration!
Love, Kate