You may have heard the tale of the three bricklayers. I have my own version. In my version, there are four bricklayers.
Four bricklayers were working side by side.
When asked, “What are you doing?” the first bricklayer replied:
“I’m laying bricks.”
When asked, “What are you doing?” the second bricklayer replied:
“I’m feeding my family.”
When asked, “What are you doing?” the third bricklayer replied:
“I’m building a cathedral.”
What a difference the vision of outcome makes. Vision acts like a magnet, drawing us on to the next level. The laying of a brick and building of a wall are much more inspired when they are guided by the vision of the cathedral they are helping to create. Visions act like magnets.
In December of 2013, I created a magnetic vision for my life, my work and my home. I determined to make my life manageable. I committed to Space for Grace. I set out to change habits, overcome obstacles and create a life of flow.
I was the third bricklayer in the story. I had the vision of where I wanted my efforts to take me. My “cathedral” was built in the air. Now I needed to put my boots on the ground and do the hard work of building a new foundation.
For the first year, my heart and feet were aligned with my vision. When I cleaned a drawer, I was creating Space for Grace. When I arranged items based on how I use them, I was Creating Flow. The most mundane activities were sacraments toward a larger purpose.
And then, something shifted. I became the first bricklayer. The laying of a brick was reduced to the laying of a brick. Without the inspiration of the vision, the day-to-day activities became drudgery.
I didn’t want to become the third bricklayer again. I didn’t want an unrealistic, unlived picture of perfection. Where did that leave me? The bricklayer story was too small for who I needed to be to continue this journey and create the life of my dreams.
If your story is too small, tell a bigger one. Here is my recent addition to this traditional story that I have told hundreds of times.
The Fourth Bricklayer
When asked, “What are you doing?” the fourth bricklayer replied:
Laying bricks. It pays well, and feeds my family. These bricks are part of a wall that will be a part of an amazing cathedral that will inspire the community and foster their aspirations.
The fourth bricklayer was doing the same thing as the others, but he was awake and aware to the three levels of living.
If I had to choose between a bricklayer with skills and a bricklayer with heart and a bricklayer with vision, I’d go for the skills. But I don’t have to choose, and neither do you.
We’re bigger than that.
What am I doing now? I’m writing a blog post. I’m increasing my clarity and writing skills. I”m building community. I’m taking an action that will help the world tell a bigger story. I am the fourth bricklayer. I invite you to be as well.
What are you doing now?