My boys always get super excited when they see a crane… really any construction vehicle.
Yesterday, they saw one off the side of the highway, and the sight of it launched them into a passionate discussion on how houses are made. “First,” one twin said with his arms flailing about in demonstration, “They glue all the rectangular bricks together on the ground. Then, the crane comes down (one arm moved down dramatically) picks up the bricks (the arm then sailed upward) and places it gently on the roof!” Hmm. That sounds structurally accurate, I thought sarcastically.
The conversation went on and on, and I interjected from time to time to try and steer them towards logic. Mostly, however, I just listened. I’ve been trying to do more listening these days.
I’ve been trying to listen and see how these once babies and toddlers are turning into big boys with lots of thoughts and ideas about how the world works. I’m trying to strike a balance between letting their imaginations run wild and making sure they don’t grow up too misinformed.
As I listen, I wonder though – am I planting enough seeds? Am I taking the necessary time to water those seeds as well?
It’s difficult as a parent and as an educator to know if what you are doing is making an impact – and a good impact at that. Often, this is because the fruits of our labor comes years later. And when it does come, it’s difficult to know what part you actually played in those fruits.
So instead, we just have to do our best. We are, as the prayer I quoted in this image says, workers not master builders.
This prayer, written by then-Fr. Ken Untener and preached by Cardinal Dearden, has many impactful lines. Today, my prayer consists of just this part:
“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 are workers, not master builders;
Ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.”*
*Whole prayer found here.
So today let’s take another step along the way and rest in faith that it’s leading to something beyond our wildest imagination.