In Medieval France, a traveler happened upon a town where people were hard at work building something. The traveler began talking with the stone cutters and inquiring about what they were up to.
He asked the first worker what he was doing. The man seemed unhappy, disgruntled even, and sharply replied, “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m cutting these huge boulders with these simple tools. My back hurts. It’s too hot, and I’m sweating. I wish I didn’t have to do this stupid job, but here we are. Thanks for asking, pal.”
The traveler moved on (rather quickly!) to ask the second worker what he was doing. He responded, “I have a wife and kids at home. I get up every morning and work these boulders to become regular shapes. It can be repetitive, I won’t lie to you. But this work helps feed my family, and that’s why I’m here.”
The traveler was heartened by this response as he moved onto the final worker he wanted to speak with. He asked the third worker what he was doing. The man put down his tools, as his eyes shone with happiness and peace. The man pointed up to the heavens and declared, “I’m building a cathedral!”
Some weeks, dear congregation, we may identify with one of these workers more than the others.
But here’s what I know to be true—we have the ability to change our perspective.
And sometimes changing how we see a situation makes all the difference in the world.
How might this look for you this week?
*There’s various versions of this story. I adapted this version from Margaret Silf’s book One Hundred Wisdom Stories from around the World.
**Photo of a Connecticut Sunset last week in Groton, because your pastor needed an evening by the shore with some friends to change her perspective, too.
Photo by Rev. Lauren L. Ostrout: https://unsplash.com/@laurenostrout