The truth behind greatness


Photo Courtesy:  Library of Congress flickr stream

Everyone wants to be someone great- it must be bred into our DNA.  We think….Why should I do menial things when living the biggest dream is what I’ve always wanted and what I deserve.  The American dream- work your way up, you don’t need anyone and stick it to everyone who never believed in you.  My thoughts exactly at one point….. but over time, perspective transforms.

My how we are so enamored with doing something incredible for God, desiring our narrative to be some testimony that the whole world talks about with lasting legacy that we lose sight of serving God in the small things.  If you are willing to do great things for God and make massive strides in the world, but ignore someone needing you right now, right here with spiritual, emotional or physical needs…. You have lost sight.  To neglect those hurting in front of you because you are just far too concerned with your “big project for God” is not what I believe he has in mind.  We see all the amazing things He has done throughout the centuries, and I believe there are reasons he wants us to see those things.  We need to know we serve a powerful and awesome God.  But lest we continue to seek glory for ourselves (yes even deemed spiritual good can be sought for ourselves), we neglect the simplicity of service.  It isn’t about everyone posting a blog or retweeting your stuff, giving money to your cause or having so many Facebook friends who lift you up high.  No my friends, it’s about doing the gross tasks, getting your fingers dirty, feeling uncomfortable around people and being willing to work behind the scenes without recognition, to do small things with great love (thanks Kayla) and to not have to tell everyone when and why you do what you do. 

I think about the story in the bible where the apostles are arguing over who is the greatest in the kingdom, and after awhile the Savior says, No, you have it wrong.  He tells them about humility and they have to become simple like kids.  And basically, we are the same way.  We’re always trying to do and be and at times seeking our own glory and wanting God to just work so much power through us.  But maybe He is every minute and we are ignoring it.  When you continually seek the great things to come your way, you miss the beauty of the goodness in the small things you can do.  I believe this is why God talks so much to us as people- one on one. You serve, you give, you do this for others.  He wants us to personally connect to our service and to know what it’s like to really give of ourselves.  Anyone can join a following and anyone can put money in a church plate, but how much harder it is to get out of yourself and push yourself to befriend someone odd or be kind to someone who is your enemy or to serve the wretched, poor and dirty in this world.

I struggle with all of this as well.  If I desire to brag about all my good deeds, then perhaps my heart needs a checkup.  So many times we assume people aren’t doing things in God’s kingdom, when really they are doing many thing and not having to broadcast them.  Do we need to know these acts of kindness and service at times? Yes, it can help us to see the good around us and to be encouraged to see God working through the lives of others.  But good things usually come to light and the good people do will eventually be talked about.  Don’t toot your own horn…. If you are serving and giving and loving then people will naturally take notice and when asked, you can direct that right back to God.  Also, ultimately it doesn’t matter if no one sees.  God knows.  And isn’t He really the only one who matters?

Go and do good things, be they massive or seemingly insignificant in this great big world.



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