The Cathedral of Chartres

I heard this story recently, and decided to share it with you.


Several hundred years ago, a traveler was walking through the French countryside.  He came to the site of the Cathedral of Chartres, which was being built.

He entered the building site, and he saw a sculptor working.  He asked the sculptor what he was doing, and the sculptor said “I am making a statue”.

He walked around, and he saw a glazier working. He asked the glazier what he was doing, and the glazier said “I am making stained glass”.

The traveler walked around some more, and he saw a carpenter working.  He asked the carpenter what he was doing, and the carpenter said “I am making pews”.

Then the traveler saw a janitor.  The janitor was pushing a broom.  He was cleaning up pieces of marble from the sculptor, stained glass from the glazier, and wood from the carpenter.  The traveler asked the janitor what he was doing, and the janitor said “I am building a monument to the glory of God”.

Rosace nord de la cathédrale de Chartres


The point of the story is about finding purpose in our lives.  The sculptor, glazier and carpenter only saw their own contributions.  The janitor, on the other hand, understood that he was contributing to something greater than himself.


Am I approaching my life today as if I am only pushing a broom around, or am I building a monument with my life?  What is the meaning and purpose of my life?



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