I recently had the opportunity to visit La Sagrada Familia (Holy Family Church) in Barcelona, Spain. It is an amazing sight to see. A church that really looks like no other in the world.

This church is unique for its architecture but also for something else – it’s not finished. Construction of the church has lasted for 137 years! Antoni Gaudi designed the church and worked on it for 46 years. Shortly before his death the first tower was completed, seven more towers are now done and another ten are in construction.

Gaudi’s vision was for the church to inspire feelings of elevation that would invite people to worship God. He was a deeply devoted Christian. He practiced his faith and incorporated it into everything about the building. He thought of himself as “God’s architect.”

He knew his vision was huge and would take time to build. He once said, “My God is not in a hurry.” The engineering design is substantial with an unprecedented eighteen towers (12 of the towers are for the apostles, four are for the evangelists, one is for Mary and the largest tower -- at 170 meters -- is for Jesus). Then there are the intricate facades filled with sculptures telling the story of Jesus’s life.

For twenty years construction stopped during the Spanish Civil War and then repairs had to be done from destruction to the inside of the church. Work resumed slowly as donations came in to continue building.

And then in 2010 the inside of the church was finally finished. Pope Benedict came and dedicated the building. But the outside of the church is still not complete. The goal for completion is 2026, one hundred years after the death of Gaudi.

Being under construction is a good way to understand our lives. We are all works in progress. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.”

Sometimes we get frustrated with the pace of our progress or the rate of our accomplishments. We may wish we were farther along than we are. It takes time for the work to be done in our lives. And many times, it’s longer than we think it should take. We can get frustrated at the pace of growth and wish for more.

And there are times when we have setbacks. Illness strikes, loss hits us, relationships end. We have to regroup and continue on the journey. We must choose to persevere. You just have to keep moving forward with a vision for your life. Past the disappointments, in spite of the failures and through the pain.

It won’t be 137 years but for however long your life is you are under construction, becoming who God created you to be. Keep open to opportunities, keep persevering though problems and keep committed to finishing your life well.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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 New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel

Please let your Spanish friends know that Pastor Rick's Spanish devotional is now available! You can access it on and