There’s an often-repeated story about the construction of the Salisbury Cathedral. The story goes like this: once a man was visiting southern England 800 years ago, just as the construction efforts for the cathedral were beginning to get underway.
The man approached a group of workers laying brick and asked a man, who seemed very sullen, what he was doing. The worker looked at the traveler like he was an idiot. “Can’t you see, I’m laying brick?” the man said. The traveler apologized for taking the worker’s time and moved a little further on.
He then approached a second man who seemed to be in somewhat better spirits. He asked this one what he was doing? The man looked up at the traveler and answered, “I’m building a wall.”
As he walked past a third bricklayer he was surprised to see this man was working with a palpable joy. Once again he asked the worker what he was doing. The third man responded, “I’m building the Salisbury Cathedral.”
The three men were all doing the same thing, but their perception of their role in the work being done changed how they approached their labor. The larger the scope of their vision, the greater meaning they had in their work.
This is one of the reasons that early Christians began to celebrate Advent. They wanted to connect the daily work of their lives to a much larger hope. By taking time to reflect on the big story of God’s redemptive work, it helped the small stories in their own lives find greater meaning.
Think about your own life and share with others how what you are doing might be building something bigger than you regularly imagine.
Questions for Today
- What are your own hopes for your life and future? How are you building that future?
- What are some ways that your daily life is connecting you to the larger story of God’s work?
Advent Action Guide
This is an entry in my Advent Action Guide which will be featured all Advent long.
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