Saturday, August 20, 2011

Contemplating Greatness

What makes a person great? I've been thinking quite a bit about that lately. I have this pull in me to really have my life count for something. When I think of what that might look like, my thoughts usually come around to something visible that people would know I did or was involved with. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be linked to something great, but it's a really close cousin to wanting to be famous. Fame is fickle and we all know that not everyone who is famous is great.

There are acts of greatness that the world applauds: discovering the cure for polio, being awarded a purple heart for bravery, winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

But the more I think on this topic, I wonder if some of the biggest acts of greatness are often things that the masses cannot see -- maybe no one sees them--except God.

The person who is slandered and refuses to speak evil in return, the husband or wife who faithfully cares for a spouse whose health is failing, the long suffering parent who continues to believe for their prodigal to return, the friend who is loyal even when that loyalty is not returned -- all of these are acts of greatness.

While visible acts of greatness often bring acclaim, invisible acts don't. A person does the right thing seemingly without notice--no headlines, no praise, no award--at least not here on earth.

I read a quote last week that said something like "A person's character is best seen by how he treats another who cannot help him in return."

I want to be a person with this calibre of character. Perhaps there will be tangible things people remember me for, but more than that, I want to be someone who is willing to serve no matter what the return. I believe this makes God glad and that's the greatest thing of all!

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