Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What It Means To Be Great

I've been absent from blogging for some time now.

The truth is, I've been struggling lately. A lot.

Struggling to accept that my baby girl will never be like other little girls. Struggling to make sure she gets the care she needs to be as healthy as possible.

Struggling to make sure that my teenager doesn't feel left out in this family.

Struggling to accept that my father has cancer. Again. And struggling to make sure he gets the care he needs.

Struggling to meet the financial burdens of having two mortgages, medical bills, and having a husband who drives 100 miles per day when gas is $4/gallon.

Struggling with very mean and nasty neighbors, and trying to handle them in a Godly way when my human nature wants revenge.

Struggling with myself for not doing more with my life. I have been feeling very inadequate, partly because I caught up with an old friend from high school. Someone who has done great things with his life. He's a PhD, has done extensive research in his field, has appeared on television, and on and on. Comparing that to myself, I seem pretty insignificant. He moved thousands of miles away. I'm 3 miles from my childhood home. He has lots of degrees and titles. I have 130 credit hours and only an associate's degree to show for it. He's a leader in his area of study, while I've only contemplated writing research articles (you know, maybe some day when I'm important enough). He seems to have it all. My "accomplishments" seem to pale in comparison.

The funny thing is, until I found out about my friend's greatness I was feeling pretty good about myself. My dream is to stay home for my kids, have a huge garden, maybe make some jewelry or learn to sew. That seemed like the good life to me. Now I feel as though I've contributed nothing to the world. I've done nothing of greatness, of importance.

What is greatness? Is it found in those who live and work in their community, trudging along in the trenches? Is it found in those living the high life, making television appearances and writing books?

In the midst of examining this question, I pulled out a track from a song I've sung in church. It's called, "When the Saints" and was written and performed by Sara Groves a couple of years ago. You can listen and view the lyrics here.
For me, this answers the question of greatness. It can only be seen through heaven's eyes, not through mine. What is greatness? It is living your God-given purpose. Like Moses, the man with a stutter who freed the slaves from Egypt. Like Paul and Silas, who sang while they were in prison. And all the missionaries who have been martyred. And the sisters who live entirely to serve Christ through caring for, "the least of these." And the man of sorrows whose problems are so, so much greater than my own.

On that note, I have to go. To Sadie, greatness is having a sippy cup and some animal crackers, and watching "Dinosaur Train" with her Mommy. So, I'm off to be great for her. What will you do to be great today?