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H. Richard Niebuhr on Being Part of Something Glorious

From a sermon, "Man's Work and God's" based on Psalm 90. Cited by Donal W. Shriver in H. Richard Niebuhr (Abingdon Press: 2009), p. vii.

Sometimes we feel in the midst of these many tasks in our vast world as though we were laborers in a giant factory where something is being made that we can never see. We are being required to stamp out this piece of sheet metal, to make this handle, to tighten this bolt — and to do all this over and over again without knowing what the whole process is all about. … But for the most part we fundamentally believe that something is going on, something is being accomplished. … We dimly see and hope that this is something glorious in which we are engaged. Something which, if we knew what it was, we could take pride in acknowledging as a work we had been allowed to serve.