History books are full of the stories of famous people–heroes, inventors, powerful leaders, and world changers. What makes someone famous? How does one achieve greatness? The answer might surprise you.
I’m Not All That (but I’d like to be)
When my friend, Terry, read last week’s post, she replied to me via email and said, “Wow! I’m really not all that! But I do love the fact that you think I am!”
If I’d written the post about you, you may have responded the same way. Most of us don’t see ourselves as “great”. We’re pretty certain that our names will never be found in a history book; and while we’re okay with that we all long to know that our lives have mattered in some way. Significance is a longing placed in every human heart by our Creator. The trouble comes in the ways we try to achieve greatness.
Terry went on in her email to tell me the story of Aunt Emma Lou., her favorite aunt. Since I’ve never met her, she tries to describe what her Aunt meant to so many. As she writes, I read simple stories of Aunt Emma Lou just being Aunt Emma Lou; but nothing that will make the history books. Then I read these words, “her love and godly example had such an impact on me”. Ordinary. Yet, extraordinary.
Aunt Emma Lou’s life ripples through eternity. The way she lived changed Terry’s life and in turn changed mine.
Aunt Emma Lou is dying and Terry is grieving the few short days she has left with her. I’ll not have the privilege of thanking Aunt Emma Lou in this life for how she changed mine. But I did the next best thing and thanked Terry for the impact her life has had on mine. Terry’s response: “It really did remind me that maybe I am not all used up after all . . . I just might have something to give”.
Leave Your Mark
Dear friend, your life is leaving a mark on the world. Your hand prints are all over the place. Someone is walking in your footsteps. The words you speak echo loud and long in halls and hearts. And the ripple of your life continues long after your days on this earth end.
We live in a world where people are famous for being ruthless; or famous for being rude; or famous for being immoral; or famous for being famous. It’s not surprising when we consider who the prince of this world is. But the King of Kings is still on the throne and in His kingdom what makes one
famous great is quite different. He’s told us clearly in His Word.
Greatness = Service
- A listening ear
- Preparing a meal
- Caring for a child, a parent, or even a pet
- Mowing a lawn
- Repairing a car
- Financial assistance
The list is long and as diverse as the human race. We are each uniquely gifted to serve.
Greatness is Better Than Fame.
Fame is short lived. Fame can be bought. But not everyone can be famous.
Greatness ripples through eternity. The circle of one’s influence grows wider each year as one life touches another. And everyone can be great.
But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28 ESV
Service is more than what we do. Service is who we are.
I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Click here to read the rest of the story.