I co-led a workshop on Saturday called “Living into Right Relations.” It was for folks in congregations looking for better ways to be in community with each other. It’s amazing to me what faithful people are willing to spend a Saturday doing.
I think the workshop went well and offered some insights and practices for feeding congregational health. But I tend to second guess myself on these things and before the day was over I was reconsidering what we had done and what I might have said or done better.
Then I heard this portion of a Wendell Barry poem in a podcast:
…no leaf or grain is filled
By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,
Great work is done while we’re asleep.
When we work well, a Sabbath mood
Rests on our day, and finds it good.
And I imagined Saturday’s parish hall as a field in which we had planted ideas like seeds, pulled up some weeds that were stifling growth and brought some water to parched plants. We did our best and I decided to leave the field to grace. I stopped obsessing about what maybe didn’t work so well or what we might have done differently.
And so, this week, this poem is my prayer. May I willingly till and plant, weed and water; willingly let my hands ache and my body sweat. May I do work that is good. And then may I leave what I have done to the elements, to Life, to grace. May I work well and may a Sabbath mood rest on my days and find them good.