Thinking Long Term Has a Price

This cathedral was built centuries ago. It rests in the heart of Florence, Italy presiding over the piazza it calls home. Life flutters and flourishes around this amazing structure and ebbs and flows as years progress. When we were there we saw vendors, restaurants, children playing and armored tanks, all taking up their own space in the area around this building. I imagine that the people who actually constructed the building so many centuries ago would never have been able to imagine the life their structure would foster and experience over the many centuries of its life.

Somewhere someone thought long term. They planned and built and prepared for what they were constructing to survive for more years than they or their grandchildren could imagine. It took planning and effort and forethought to make it all happen, at a time when technology revolved around ropes and pulleys and hard labor. Imagine what we can do with the technology and tools we have at our disposal? Imagine how we can think long term and how much longer that means in this day and age.

As I stood in front of this cathedral I thought about the millions of people who stood in that exact same spot over the centuries and how they viewed the same building I was viewing. Did the people who actually invested their blood, sweat and tears into this structure understand what they were creating? Or did they simply do their job each day and go home?

It reminds me of a great story. One brick layer was asked what he was doing and he said he was laying bricks. A second brick layer working on the same job was asked what we was doing and he said we was making a wall. A third brick layer on the same job was asked what he was doing, and he said he was making a cathedral to honor God. The difference between the three was the way they thought about what they were doing. Once thought it was a daily task, one thought it was a small job, the other thought it was an important creation. Same activity different thinking. Of the three thought processes, which one mirrors how you think about your daily work? Sometimes it is not the work that gets us down it is the way we think about it that makes the day go long.

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