top of page

A FUTURE NOT OUR OWN A Prayer / Poem by Archbishop Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is 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 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 programme accomplishes the church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

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. 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 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 workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

52 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Tracey Richardson
Tracey Richardson
Jan 28, 2022

What a beautiful poem, thanks for sharing it Joe. It gives me a sense of peace, not know what is around the next corner or the next minute. I am a 'nine wing one' on the Enneagram, so I totally understand where you are coming from Stephan. It's going over how I could have said that better or done better. The depression and rejection of self is real. It gets me most often, when I find I am living in the future or in my expectations.

I am drawn to this line "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." Yesterday I was…


Stephan Vosloo
Stephan Vosloo
Jan 28, 2022

Brilliant!! For a "one" on the Enneagram, this principle is one of the most difficult to accept. One of my identities is "Reformer Stefaans" and he finds his peace when things are reformed to perfection. Needless to say he is a very depressed little boy. I needed to read this today - thank you

bottom of page