“…to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.”

// Romans 2:7

In Barcelona, Spain stands the Sagrada Familia, a towering basilica visible from miles away. This masterpiece is considered the defining piece of architecture of the Barcelona skyline, a source of both local pride and tourist interest.

What the uninitiated might not realize, however, is that the cathedral is still under construction. Despite first breaking ground in 1882, the Sagrada Familia does not expect to be crane and hammer-free until 2028. That clocks in at just under 150 years of construction. A tour of the church is breathtaking and awe-inspiring, all the while accompanied by the sounds of drills, buzz saws and jackhammers. Still, the cathedral is a sight to behold; a bonafide work of art, even in its unfinished state. As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Someone in Barcelona must have gotten the message.

Much like this great architectural feat still continues towards completion long after the first brick was laid, Paul suggests in this passage that our lives are cathedrals being built by our actions. In fact, his thoughts in verse 6 (that God “will render to each one according to his works”) match the words used throughout Scripture to describe reaping what one sows. Simply put, eternal life awaits those who pursue the things of God.

That being said, the beautiful cathedral that towers above Barcelona took time to build. What we witness today is the result of years of dedication and commitment to the final vision. In the same way, there is beauty that rises out of a sustained dedication to the ways of God. As He is the Master Architect, we commit our lives (and in turn, our actions) to Him. As He works on us and through us, we are transformed from a shapeless pile of materials into a towering point of reference for an entire culture. Even though the building may not yet be complete, the work of the Master is evident.

We may feel that we are still “under construction” when we go through trials, but we must hold fast to the reward that perseverance brings by constructing the cathedral of our lives in the right way. May we build our lives according to the blueprint the Master Architect has drawn, trusting that His way and His vision far surpass what we plan or envision for ourselves.

// Joel Eastlick