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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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What Do You See?

While preparing for my PAR, and trying to grasp a vision for what I’m doing here at RAAF Richmond, I was reminded of a story about Christopher Wren, the architect who designed many magnificent churches. On one occasion he was inspecting the progress of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and took the time to speak to a number of the workers who were on the site, without revealing who he was.

He first spoke to one of the carpenters and asked him what he was doing. He was abruptly put into his place being told he was erecting some timber! Christopher Wren then spoke to one of the bricklayers, who when asked what he was doing, simply said “laying bricks”. Finally he spoke to an old man who was mixing cement asking him the same question. This unskilled labourer answered proudly “What am I doing? Why sir, I’m building a great cathedral!”

What is your attitude to what you are doing? Have you grasped the big picture? The cement mixer was able to see beyond his humble labour and feel ownership of the architect’s grand plan! Am I content to see myself as “just a padre” or as an essential member of the ALG team, providing relief responses to disasters, not just in Australia, but in Tonga,  Indonesia and other parts of the world? Am I just a counsellor reacting to people with problems or a proactive change agent equipping them to make Australia a better, safer place?

Have another look at your job description and see if you can reframe it to grasp the big picture. The fact is, I am also here as God’s representative, playing my part in the Grand Architect’s plan for the universe.

Chaplain Ian Whitley

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