My wife and I watched a documentary last night of a music group from Down Under named Hillsong. Over the years they’ve made a significant impact in the Christian music genre, and many of their songs are played within the local church worship service on a weekly basis. As the video ended, I had a new appreciation for this group. I saw the members as ordinary people in pursuit of the extraordinary passions of their heart.
It seems the American culture can have a way of perverting the idea of greatness. Mega-stars and athletes are elevated to a position well above the status of the normal human being…and in some cases, placed dangerously close to deity status. Their opinions regarding political and social issues are also elevated above that of “commoners” even if their knowledge on a certain topic is inferior. For most of us, the idea of doing something great can seem unreachable or unattainable because of a skewed view of what true greatness really is.
As the credits to the documentary rolled by, I sat on the couch pondering what I just watched…feelings and emotions stirring within. I found myself uttering the words, “I want to be great Lord.” No! I don’t want to be on a stage, and I have no fantasy of being famous, although I will admit I hit plenty of last second jumpers in Game 7 of the NBA finals while out in my neighbor’s driveway growing up.
I want to be great as a husband, a father, and a grandfather; I want to be great as a friend; I want to be great in identifying the “original design” within people, and great in challenging those same people to see it and draw it out from within.
Over the past 6 months, I’ve slowly pursued training that may lead to a new occupation. It’s exciting…although I’m not sure I’m more excited about what I’m working towards, or what I’m pushing away from. Motivations are important to understand you know. But as I sat alone watching those credits roll by on the TV, I allowed my heart to share its opinion. I heard the all-to-familiar ache from within…I want to be great at writing. There! I said it… I want to write about things that stir people…I want to write in such a way as to cause people to question, “Why not!” I want to light fires in the heart of the reader, leading to the pursuit of the incredible.
Watching people live from a position of passion as they pursue their own personal definition of greatness is intoxicating to me. Isn’t it the stuff of great movies? Doesn’t it somehow stir something within our own heart regarding personal dreams we’ve held onto?
I won’t cheapen this story by promising some 5-step theory. I will say that pursuing greatness comes at a cost though. As I consider my own journey, it requires that I redefine who I am as a person. I wonder how many dreams of greatness die because we simply believe our dreams are something for others to attain…I’m not smart enough, not good enough…blah, blah, blah… Toxic! Lies!
I won’t go into the spiritual side other than to say, whether you want to believe in the God of the Bible or not, you were created in God’s image. Not asking you to believe it…but you were. When you were created, he had thoughts specifically about you…He shaped you and molded you in your mother’s womb. Again, not asking you to believe me, not asking you to go to your local church, pray a prayer, become a member, etc. etc. I’m just telling you, when He thought of you, when He shaped you and molded you, He did so in His own image. He made you in such a way that you would make your own unique reflection of who He is…He made you for greatness. He placed dreams and desires within you that make you tick!
There is something within all of us that longs to be great…and it doesn’t always mean we want to be on stage or in bright lights in front of thousands…it just means we long to be great at what we’re passionate about.
All I ask is that you just think about it. What stirs your heart?