A man walked up to a construction site where a number of people were working diligently. He walked up to one worker and asked what he was doing.
"I'm laying bricks," was the response.
He walked up to a second and asked the same question.
"I'm building a wall," came the matter-of-fact reply.
When he asked a third man what he was doing, the man paused, looked up to the sky as if focusing on a distant future and replied,
"I am building a magnificent cathedral, where thousands will come over hundreds of years to seek the truth, to celebrate new life, to be cared for when mourning losses, and to joyfully join in marriage."
I heard this story recently at an event and, after a bit of research, found that this story has been shared for over 300 years.
Two of the workers were just that - workers. They toiled away, earning a paycheck. They hated Mondays. They counted the hours to the end of the day. They counted the days to the end of each week. They lived for their vacations.
One worker was much more than just a worker. He viewed his work as "living waters" that would flow out of his hands and enrich lives for many years to come. He may have still enjoyed his time away from work just as the others did. But his workdays raced by as he contemplated the impact that his work would have.
And there was only one difference between the last worker and the first two: Perspective.
No matter how messy, how boring, how confrontational, how manual ... virtually all work creates ripples that impact dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of others. It creates jobs. It saves lives. It supports others and enables them to do what they are best at. It supports a team of other people. It changes one mind or one heart - that may later touch many others. It creates wealth (that gets spent in ways that does more of the same).
Hate your job? Yes, it's possible that you're in the wrong job. But take the time to visualize what it is that you're really building. Who it is that you're really impacting. Use those monotonous hours to contemplate that for the next 30 days. See if your work changes as a result.
What cathedral is your work building?
Originally published on April 14, 2015 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau