It’s hard to believe that it has been over eleven months since I began my job at a construction company. Among the several projects I am juggling, I recently wrapped up and submitted the first project I ever really got my hands on. It was a rather big project (just shy of 300,000 square feet) that has taken almost two years to complete, so big that even the phase I did have the opportunity to contribute to when I arrived on the job seemed like such a little part.
All projects, big and small require the same kind of effort & input from team members. Especially for a project of colossal size, an understanding of the project scope, goals, and collaboration among team members are keys to success. When constructing a building or interior space, there are so many components to it that necessitate mutual understanding and communication. Otherwise you run the risk of making big mistakes & wasting time or worse, creating a space that is not in fact designed or built to the clients’ preferences and needs. But no matter what, the project still goes on, even if that means taking a few steps back. It goes on.
It also takes numerous coordination meetings, ensuring that each action item is being met and that each person has their ducks in a row. And during those meetings, I not only got to report sustainability updates to the team as that is the role I play, but I even get to better understand the roles of each person present on the team. They each excel in their craft. While tasks may be separated out per subcontractor and trade, it is all a part of the bigger picture – the project goal, the end result, the final product. Ultimately, that is to have satisfied clients who have the opportunity to produce good work due to the space around them that has catered to their needs and comforts. As I said in a previous post, it’s not about the buildings but those who occupy them. Buildings are lifeless without them.
I have been finding our family’s house-building adventure extra fascinating thanks to work I do throughout the work week. I’m not on the client side when it comes to work, so being the client for our future home project brings about a whole different element of excitement. I get excited when I get to see work projects I’ve been working on nearing completion, and I know that’s just a glimpse of the deep excitement I experience and will continue to experience when it’s something as personal as our house. Yesterday afternoon we received a photo via text from our builders’ sales team, and this is what they sent.
Building an office space and even a house like our own takes hard work, sweat, sometimes blood and sometimes tears. It takes clear communication, patience, and a whole lot of trusting in the process.
I see the same for building a house for God in the world, raising a family. Building up a house for God in the world means keeping God as the firm foundation and doing our part in actively participating in His plan of salvation. It means creating a space of love, respect, and service. My husband and I are two very different people who do things very differently, but we always do our best to work together as a team. He’s so good at certain things I am not good at and vice versa. Our gifts and skills differ and it’s not a bad thing at all. If anything it’s a gift and we are able to learn from another. And if not learn, then we are given a simple opportunity to just appreciate what each other excels at.
All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building, day by day, the communion of persons, making the family “a school of deeper humanity”: this happens where there is care and love for the little ones, the sick, the aged; where there is mutual service every day; when there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows. – Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio
Building up the domestic church in this world is no easy feat, and similar to constructing a space, it requires a greater deal of mutual understanding among family members, clear communication & collaboration, openness, exercising humility when wrong, and sacrifice. When mistakes happen, when storms come, when the cross gets heavier to bear, we are called again and again to carry it together as a family. (Thank God for the sacraments and the grace that freely flows from them.) And above all, to bear in mind the project goal…the final picture…the end result. And in this case, Heaven. Each day may our pursuit always be Heaven.