After 25 years in my childhood home, my parents are building a new house. It is very weird imagining my children coming to my parents’ place for holidays and Christmas, not being able to show them my childhood room, or my favorites spots in the little woods outside the house, or even know where everything is. Yet I know this has been a life-long dream for my father, so I’m trying to be as good of a trooper as I can, even down to going to the lighting store with my mom and learning that there’s a difference between “walnut” and “natural walnut” color tones.
Still, there’s something really beautiful about the whole thing. The land they’re building on has been my dad’s hunting land for over a decade. The trees that block the house from the road we planted when I was much younger. The little pond that will be the view from the kitchen was dug out and placed there with purpose. The fish were cultivated there. It has a much bigger woods that my nephews and someday children will be able to run around in, finding their own favorite spots.
It makes me think about God’s dreams for me.
My nursing program ends in under a year, and I am overwhelmed thinking about my future. I thought beyond a doubt that I would be dating someone by now, but that seems extremely far off. So, now I can do everything and anything, but what should I actually do?
My God has my future in mind. He has dreams for me too, and like my father and his house, He is carefully bringing it all together, even if pieces of it seem random.
What seeds is He planting now that will be full-grown trees? That groundwork is He laying? What is being built?
I do not know, but I do know that this prayer is something my father gave me and it has been on my heart:
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.
– Cardinal Dearden, Prophets of a Future Not Our Own
I am not the master builder of my life. God is. And so I do not need to worry about certain details. Rather, I can wait to see what life unfolds.
For example, in my clinicals, I have loved taking care of children. Sick kids always scared me. Instead, they are bringing me the most joy and vigor. I thought I would love regular family practice, but I find myself mostly bored.
Sometimes I need to see what life unfolds. I need to see what brings me joy and peace before forging ahead and building a life on something that will make me miserable. And that requires patience and trust in the master builder.
It may be hard to wait. It may be hard to be patient. But my heavenly Father has even bigger dreams for me than my father, and the house my father is building will be beautiful. My dad even created a room for me in mind when designing my parents’ new house. How much more is God preparing something beautiful and special for me?