I was invited to offer an invocation, or blessing, for the opening of the Washington State Senate legislative session today. These were the words I shared with our legislators.
This week I came across a piece of writing, both poem and prayer entitled, A Future Not Our Own.These words have taken root in my mind, resonating deeply.
“It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
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.”
This piece, written by a young priest from Detroit, has become associated with and commemorates the life of El Salvador’s Archbishop, now Saint, Oscar Romero, who was assonated in 1980 working towards the liberation of El Salvadorians experiencing extreme poverty and violence. Romeo did not have the opportunity to see his work through. In your time in these privileged positions as legislative representatives, it is likely you will not see all your work through to completion either. Even as this regular legislative session begins to come to a close, there will inevitably be work left unfinished.
Together, as citizens and community, we work towards a better and brighter future for all people, we tend to the work begun before us, and foster a legacy of work that will carry on beyond our time. The prayer continues,
“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,
We may never see the end results…
We are prophets of a future not our own.”
May the steps we make be done very well, may we water the seeds taking root in our communities, may we plant new seeds that flourish beyond our time, May we never lose sight of the long view, investing fully in a future not our own.
What our prayers begin, may our lives continue. May it be so.