A Master Architect, known worldwide for his dozens of stunning and otherworldly designs scattered across the globe, put the finishing touches on his latest creation. This particular plan was unique because it was not commissioned by anyone; rather, it was a personal project of the Master. For ten years, he had worked on the draft: drawing, critiquing, erasing, redrawing. His commissioned plans always displayed his greatness, but they were designed within the boundaries of another’s purpose and location. This plan though, was an unleashing of all that was in the Architect’s genius mind as well as what was in the depths of his spirit.
The Master Architect began seeking a builder to work with him to bring his plan to fruition. He advertised the world over, willing to work with anyone who was willing to work with him. He knew many would come to him, but that many would also refuse to work with him. He knew this because there was a catch to his plan: he would only allow the builder to see the precise step of the design that was being worked on at the moment. No one was to see the finished design. This meant that someone would have to agree to begin working on the foundation without knowing what the structure itself would look like.
So, many well respected builders from all over the world came to offer their services to the Architect. And many became troubled when they learned how the Architect desired them to carry out their work – step by step.
One builder looked doubtfully at the Master Architect after learning of this caveat. He wanted to know the plans because he could suggest shortcuts and less expensive or quicker options. Said the Master in reply, “My ways are not of speed and ease. I take time and I have plentiful resources. Slow is my process, excellent is my product.” Troubled by this, the builder turned and walked away.
Another builder came to see what the job of the Master Architect was all about. He told the Master that he was a busy man, in high demand, but that he could fit the Master’s project in between some other projects. Said the Master in reply, “I require full devotion. No other task or project will come between you and this work. Your full dedication, attention, and energy will be required.” Without a moment’s hesitation, the builder scoffed at the Master and left.
A third builder, after hearing that access to the full plans of the build was restricted, began to question incredulously: “It will be for me as if I am blind and no one can work well in darkness!” Says the Master, “Ah! But from the darkness of dirt a seed emerges as a living plant, from the darkness of the womb emerges a life and soul! Though it seems you will work in darkness, my plans and provisions will guide you, even comfort you.” Thinking the Master Architect must be crazy,this builder, too, walked away.
By this time, word of the seemingly ridiculous plan of the Master Architect began to spread. Many builders who had considered an interview with the Master decided not to bother. Still, another builder came to inquire about the Master’s plan. This builder asked of the Master, “What’s your timeline? When will I be done and available to book other jobs?” Said the Master in reply, “You need not worry about ‘after’ – it will be more glorious than you can imagine. You need only to be present to the process. As you remain present, my plans will prove to be timely and exceptional. You will need nothing else in life but to be my builder. Everything else will fit into place. Trust me.” But this builder, jaded by his life’s experiences, trusted no one besides himself, and so he left without glancing back.
Another builder, confident that he would be able to sway the Master’s decision to withhold the plans, approached the Master saying, “I view my work as a partnership with the Architect. I want to know what I’m getting into. After all, my name goes on the finished product too.” Said the Master Architect: “Yes! We will be partners, but partnership isn’t essentially a transaction of information and plans. Partnership, in its truest essence, is trust. It is not simply a joining of minds, but a joining of souls. In this partnership, you must trust the result, the finished product, to Me. You see, partnership isn’t about equality, but about a unified purpose.Trust me, you will not be disappointed!” But this was too difficult for the builder to accept. In fact he was offended by the idea that the Master would not regard him as an equal in this endeavor. He refused to trust his good reputation to this ‘irrational’ Architect and fuming, left immediately.
Just as that builder was storming away, another builder arrived. “Sir,” said he, “you are a Master of Masters. Your work is the greatest the world has ever seen. I am young and inexperienced. I would understand if you chose to have nothing to do with me. But I long to learn from the greatest. I know you’d probably prefer someone far more skilled than I. In fact, you probably see me as just a child! But I am willing.” Rejoicing, the Master exclaimed, “It is you I have been waiting for! Child you are, yes, but you will be as my own child. Inexperienced, yes. Bound to make mistakes, absolutely. But know this: I delight in teaching and making young things grow into mature things. You will have innumerable questions for me; I will only give the answers you need in the moment. I require that you trust me even if you don’t understand my plans – even if my plans seem unnecessary, impossible, or like a mistake. You will learn to trust as you look back and see how the first steps of the building process are leading into the present steps. You will be my servant. I know that’s an uncomfortable thought to some, but you will find no Master as worthy of serving as me. You will help me build something extraordinary. True, it will be your entire life’s work, and even then you may not finish. Another may have to replace you. But forever your name will be inextricably linked with mine. Stay faithful to your service to me, your laboring for me. I will provide all you need for the job – both tangible and intangible. And when you can serve me no longer, we will look back together with joy and I will declare: Well done! You have been a good and faithful servant! Let us rest in joy forever!” So the builder began the work of the Master Architect. And the greatness of the Master is still unfolding today.