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© Photographer Jyothi | Agency: Dreamstime.com

I have always been a sucker for appeals to my desire to be great.

I love it when my friends or family tell me that someday I could get my big break and write a best seller, become a top blogger, or command huge speaking fees.

I love it because I have never given up that childhood dream of being a star.

Apparently, I’m not alone because there are industries making millions on dreamers like me. Consider the number of books, seminars, agents, and services that cater to people who believe that they can make it big as writers, singers, actors, models, athletes, or entrepeneurs.

Lately as I’ve pondered my future as a writer and speaker (and even as a tennis player), I’ve had to admit, “I will never be great.”

Acknowledging that fact seems like a sad admission (even though it’s long overdue), but it’s actually given me much joy. Why?

The people that I consider to be the greatest of all have suffered the most.

I’m currently reading Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II By Darlene Deibler Rose. As I read these compelling words and think about writing an equally compelling book, I know I don’t want to. I’m not even halfway through the book, and this saintly woman has had everything taken from her, including her husband. I don’t desire the suffering required to be that great.

I’m reminded of a mother who wanted to be great vicariously–by having her sons reign with the Lord:

 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” (Matthew 20:21-22)

When I have sought to be great, I didn’t know what I was asking either.

I didn’t know I was asking to sacrifice time with my family, sleep, leisure time, relaxed time with friends, my privacy, freedom from many temptations, and most certainly my humility. Like this misguided mother, I have misunderstood the cost of greatness and despite having it right in front of me, I have asked for something more.

Our small group at church is doing this Bible study: H2O: A Journey of Faith (DVD Curriculum). I can’t recommend it enough. The pastor was sharing the truth that no matter how much more of something we think we want, we can be sure that it won’t be enough. The pursuit of greatness is, as Solomon tells us in Scripture, a meaningless existence. The truth of that finally sunk in. I’m sure you’re wondering what took so long!

At last I’m done with the “success” blogs, books, and webinars and I am no longer seeking to be great.  

Don’t look for me at Wimbledon, on Technorati’s top blogs, or on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Instead, look for me on the tennis court with the kids, here on this obscure blog where I get to pour out my heart each week, and at the feet of Jesus.

At His feet, I will be praying that He will be great in your life and mine.

How about you? Do you still dream of being great? How would you feel if you gave up that dream?


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