This morning we had an all-call staff gathering to take a look at the new church year (2012-2013), which starts today.
After Mass, we gathered for bagels and coffee and some great sharing all about the amazing time that is just ahead for us. Tom, my associate, gave an overview of what’s ahead for our strategic campus planning. Lucas, our Creative Director, helped us take a look at the concept of “story,” as in learning to share our stories of conversion and discipleship (something we will be doing with the whole congregation in the coming year). Maria, our Director of Adult Ministry, introduced our new staff members (welcome Susan and Sue) and led a discussion reflecting on our staff itself and our ongoing learning and development. Then I spoke about our forth-coming book and how its release will impact the parish and staff. Eventually each staff member gave us a quick overview of what they’ve got going on and what their teams will be doing in the year ahead.
Everyone on our team, though they have very different personalities and styles, sets high standards for themselves. And inevitably, sometimes they fall short of what they had hoped to achieve. With that in mind, I said to them, “Probably you’ll overestimate what you will accomplish in the year ahead. Probably you’ll overestimate what you can accomplish in the short-term. But you will also underestimate what God is going to do through your efforts in the long term.”
You have to believe that, because you can’t see it, you can’t see everything God is going to do through your current efforts on his behalf.
Currently I am finding inspiration in a verse from the prophet Habakkuk. He lived in a time when it was very difficult to see what God was up to, things definitely did not look good for the people of God. He could see that easily, but he could not see what God was going to do, even though he was a prophet, he couldn’t see it. So here’s what he decides to do:
I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he says to me, and what answer I am to give.
In response, God promises:
The revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
Though it linger wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
In other words, clarity will be given in exchange for
- confidence that it will be given
- and courage to persevere until it is given.
So much of our service to the Lord is going to be about our courage to serve, even though we don’t yet have complete clarity about the significance of our service…but we do have the confidence that that the clarity will be given.
Clarity, confidence, courage. A winning combination.