In just a few hours, we will depart our cozy Antigua home and catch a 3:00 am bus to Honduras. After six amazing weeks of language school and volunteering in Guatemala, we will make the 2-day journey to our new home at the Finca del Niño. We will leave WiFi, hot showers, and the tourist lifestyle behind. We will finally take the next step — the Big Step — in our camino as a missionary family. We are nervous and excited and so very grateful.
On this eve of our departure, I’d like to share with you a prayer, one which has found me repeatedly, indeed relentlessly, since I first heard it 15 years ago. It is the prayer of Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved figure here in Central America and one of my favorite saints. His words always seem to track me down when I need them most – words of invitation from an old friend, reminding me of God’s call to lead a life that is reckless in both audacity and humility.
Romero’s prayer recently found me, again. I needed it, again.
Whether you are reading this prayer for the first time or the four-hundredth time, I pray that it moves you as it has always moved me. And I ask that as you read it, you pray for the Finca del Niño community . . . a community which, much to our delight, now includes our family.
The Romero Prayer
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.