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.

—Oscar Romero

Pause and take a long view. See your efforts as threads in a grand tapestry, part of a game grander than any one player. Our ideas, our work, they’re never fully cooked. They’re seeds sown, foundations set, yeast given that’ll let the dough rise beyond what we could knead ourselves. Acknowledge this: We can’t do everything. But that’s not a chain, it’s a key.

That key unlocks a powerful realization. The task isn’t to do everything, but to do something, and to do it so well it shines. It’s a first step, a statement, a gesture towards a future that, while we might not fully understand, we are instrumental in shaping.

Remember, we aren’t always given the privilege of seeing the full picture. We are the laborers, not the architects. We’re the gardeners planting trees under whose shade we may never bask. We initiate, but may not always see the completion.

We’re drafting a future not entirely our own. We’re shaping clay for the next generation’s sculptures. We’re seeding clouds for tomorrow’s rain. We’re setting the stage for an act we may not witness. And in this reality, there’s a profound, empowering truth.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.