Taking the long view

By Rick James

A colleague and I were talking about the learning group. I was asking if he wanted to become more involved. He said: “But I’m so fed up with church at the moment”. It reminded me how much patience and forgiveness we need in working on change in the church. We have to lay down our own timelines, our own need to feel we are making a difference. It is not about us.

This reminded me of the powerful prayer composed for the assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero entitled ‘A future not our own’. Here are some excerpts:

In our Organisational Development work with churches:
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.

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.
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 prophets of a future not our own.

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