Monday, December 26, 2011

A Future not our Own

It's M again. W has been very bad about updating this lately... Since I'm with her now on Christmas vacation, I will be sure to give her some grief about it and hopefully she'll reemerge! haha

This will be a short one.

I have had the pleasure and privilege over the last couple of months to be invited to participate in a "mentorship group" through Buckhead Church. The group consists of 10 women (all who are leaders of single women's Bible studies) and our leader, who is all of our groups director - the woman on staff with the church who is in charge of equipping us as leaders. We've been meeting once a month and going through two different books, as well as sharing our joys and our challenges, holding each other accountable, and just getting to know each other better. It's been such a blessing to have fellowship with other leaders and to spend increased time with so many beautiful women of God!

After our last meeting, I was reminded of one of my favorite poems. We were discussing the difficulty of sometimes feeling like we all are responsible for saving others... our friends, our families, our Bible study members. I love reading these words (of someone far wiser than me - Arch Bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador) and remembering that God is in control... and that I'm not failing at God's work if I don't immediately see the fruit of my own labors. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, and take a minute to think and pray over the seeds that you have planted in others' lives.

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 small 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 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 will one day 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 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 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.