After the Great London Fire of 1666, the English architect, Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was commissioned to rebuild most of the cities churches. That enormous task involved designing over 50 buildings throughout the city and culminated in the design of St. Paul’s Cathedral – his landmark masterpiece. For his efforts, he received a knighthood and was essentially given charge over all government building projects.
A legend has grown up around a site visit that Wren made one day at the construction of St. Paul’s. Not being known personally by the laborers, he could mingle among them incognito. Approaching one stonecutter, he asked him what his task was.
“Cutting stone”, replied the man who dully returned to his work.
Moving on, he asked another the same question, “What is it you’re doing?”
“I’m paid three and six each week to cut and place this stonework”, was the reply this time.
Finally he approached a third man and made an inquiry about his work, “What is it you’re doing?”
The man straightened from his task, turned and looked the architect straight in the eye and said, “I’m helping Christopher Wren build this magnificent cathedral.”
It’s easy to become distracted from our purpose of a task. That might sound silly – after all the purpose of taking out the trash is to, you know, take out the trash. But little things make big things and there is a purpose behind them all. Yes, I crawl out of bed in the mornings to go to work and provide for my family. But I hope that there is a deeper purpose. One that is abiding and even eternal. Eternal in one sense that, like my father, I pass on a work-ethic to my children. But eternal in another sense that God has put me here to be a part of His great work. He is the Architect and Builder. We are in this together.
I am a structural engineer by trade. When I do my job right, no one ever knows. Beams are hidden by ceilings and walls conceal columns. My work is simply a part of a greater work. My life is part of a Greater Life. And in Him, there is satisfaction and the greatest purpose of all.