Another Quote for Thought

Since we’re on the topic of quotes I heard during college that are proving even more influential now (and we are, aren’t we?), it occurred to me that this prayer, attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero, could very well serve as a parent’s mission statement.

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.

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.

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.

Amen.

 

Two passages stand out for me, in considering this as a mother:

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. . . .

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.

and

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.

 

There is a lot of information out there about what we can and should do as parents. I am no stranger to parenting blogs, books, and other resources. But I think now, especially as Mother’s Day approaches, this is the kind of thing I need to keep in mind. I can’t do everything, but I can do some things—the important things—very well. Whether you interpret the “kingdom” as God’s kingdom in heaven or the domestic “kingdom” of your home, there is always something more to do, something more to learn, to give to build it up.

 

I am grateful for a faith that gives me hope and asks me to keep striving for the good every day. I am grateful for my motherhood, which gives me a concrete way to live that out.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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