By Tom Irwin
In 2011 a friend, John, invited me for a visit to the Obel Building, which I considered a blot on Belfast’s landscape.
The building is near Donegall Quay. Its foundations go deep, giving solid support to its 28 floors which rise 279ft into the air. The Tower contains 233 apartments.
My friend and guide, John, said that the first 200 apartments, when released in 2005, were all booked within 48 hours.
Entering the elevator the penthouse button was pressed - the 28th floor. However, due to work being done the lift went only to the 10th floor.
The next 18 floors we did on foot, stopping often on the way for breath. John was most patient.
Finally we reached “The Penthouse Apartments”. The climb and effort were worth the breathtaking view of Belfast Lough, Cave Hill, Carnmoney Hill, and further into the distance on the northern side of Belfast. To the south was Holywood, the Craigantlet Hills, Scrabo Tower and a panorama of beautiful sights. I spent an hour just taking in all the beauty, enjoying the perfect peace and quiet of being so high.
With my visit over my attitude to the Obel Tower was, and remains totally changed.
What a magnificent feat of engineering achievement and a lasting tribute to all the people involved in the building of this magnificent structure. I will be forever grateful to John, my guide for the wonderful, unforgettable experience.
Like my arduous stair climb to the top of the Obel Tower, our Christian journey is, at times, a struggle, but the glory of the journey’s end is worth the struggle.
Sometimes the Christian life will be easy, like riding the lift to the tenth floor. However, with all that is going on in the world around us we can become disheartened and tired. But just as John patiently guided and encouraged me on our upward journey, so too does Jesus guide us to our heavenly home. He is patient, understanding and giving us strength for the journey.
Jesus said: “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6.
When we eventually reach this life’s journey’s end Christ’s promise to all who love Him is that we will receive a penthouse with an unspoilt view of heaven.
“In my Father’s house are many homes.” John 14:2.