There has been an old story that has been in my thoughts lately. I don’t know the exact origins, or where I even heard it the first time, but as I go about the work of my daily routines, for some reason the subtle lessons implied in its words have been especially meaningful lately. Here is the story of the 3 masons:
“A man came across three masons who were working at chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy at his job, chipping away and frequently looking at his watch. When the man asked what it was that he was doing, the first mason responded, rather curtly, “I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait ’til 5 when I can go home.”
”A second mason, seemingly more interested in his work, was hammering diligently and when asked what it was that he was doing, answered, “Well, I’m molding this block of rock so that it can be used with others to construct a brick wall. It’s not bad work, but I’ll sure be glad when it’s done.”
”A third mason was hammering at his brick fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When he was questioned about his work he stopped, gazed skyward and proudly proclaimed, “I…am building a cathedral!”
“Three men, three different attitudes, all doing the same job.”
I often think about where I’d fit in on this construction site. I’d like to say that I would most consistently be “building a cathedral,” but going about monotonous routines and daily auto-pilot tasks doesn’t always lend to this bigger picture outlook. However, I think it should always be a goal to think beyond just chipping bricks from granite, and more about building a cathedral….in whatever form your “cathedral” will be. Even the smallest jobs can be done with great care, and trust me, those that matter will notice the difference! Build a cathedral whenever possible!!
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