“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Every single circumstance you encounter is an opportunity to see a jumbled rockpile or the image of a majestic cathedral in the midst of being built. What determines your perspective more than anything is the nature of your contemplation.
I’ve often repeated, “what has your heart has you.” And what has you colors your view of the world.
If you have tended to focus on absences, on what you wish you had, or what you feel is missing in yourself or others, what is lacking will loom large in your view. If, on the other hand, you contemplate what is available here and now and give wholehearted thanks for it, the evidence of the presence of greatness and beauty will fill your heart and mind as light fills a darkened room.
If you’ve had the privilege of standing at the foot of holy sites around the world, whether man-made or gifted by nature, I dare say that more important than what you felt in their presence was what you carried in your heart at that moment. The same is true for your interactions with people. Stop basing how you feel and act on your judgments of the people and circumstances around you.
You have the power to render the ordinary extraordinary, to transform the mundane into the marvelous, and to uplift the secular into the sacred. That power – love – lies within you; it is your birthright.
As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.” My friends, if you’re not happily inspired in any given moment, you might well ask yourself: “How thoughtfully am I contemplating the world around me? Moreover, “For what can I give thanks, here and now?”
The construction of your cathedral depends upon it.