Rebuilding the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666 was a 40 year long project. The Cathedral architect, a young Christopher Wren, took 10 of those years to draw up all his designs and plans. One day he decided to go to the building site and walk anonymously among his workers – a sort of 17th century version of “Undercover Boss.”
He asked different men who were working on a wall what they were doing. The first answered, “I am cutting stone. That’s what I do.” He asked another man what he was doing. This second man said, “I am earning three shillings a day.” The third man that he asked, stopped, stood up tall, and answered, “I am helping Sir Christopher Wren build a great cathedral to the glory of God.”
Which worker are you? Some of us, like the first man, are so focused on the details of our lives that we don’t ever look beyond them. Or, like the second man, are you just working to make money? It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you survive to the next paycheck? Or are you like the third worker? He understood that his contribution was part of a much bigger picture, a much grander purpose, and though perhaps a small contribution, he saw it as essential to the outcome – for God’s glory.
That third perspective is how God wants us to view our lives–our daily work. We are each a small, but nonetheless, significant part of a great work that Jesus needs His Church to complete. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord, and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward.” Let’s pray for that bigger, grander perspective of our lives in 2022.
All work is tiring and can often be monotonous when repetitive. But getting a different perspective and seeing the bigger purpose will most probably improve the quality of our work and will certainly make us feel differently about ourselves as we work. Some of us have suffered great losses in 2021. But with a fresh perspective we may even find we are re-energized. Paul wrote about his work in Colossians 1 where he says, “I labor, struggling with (God’s) energy that so powerfully works in me.” With the perspective of God’s grand plan in view, we can look beyond ourselves and our past, even beyond our losses, with new hope for 2022.
Anticipate a glorious and busy 2022!