I wanted to be “the ruler of the world.” Yes, that was my 5 year old dream; my grandma will testify to the fact. She gave me the penny I used to wish for it. What do you want to be when you grow up? Every child has a different answer. Doctor, ballerina, fireman, artist, writer, singer, etc. These are all very normal. As a 5 year old, I obviously wasn’t thinking normally. Unrealistic as it was, it was the biggest, greatest destiny I could envision for my life.
Since that time I’ve had enough humbling experiences to realize I’m too fallible to save anyone, including myself. The journey of “becoming” is a fascinating subject to me now because, for all we strive to be, we never actually arrive. You can work for years to become a high school graduate; once you’ve reached that you want to become an employee or college student; once you’ve reached that you want to become a home-owner; and the list goes on.
We are continually in the process of becoming something. The truth is that all the gifts and accomplishments you can dream up and do in a lifetime ultimately become nothing; they accomplish nothing. In the grand scheme of all life and the spiritual dimension of infinity and what comes after life, all that we worry about and work our entire lives to achieve is less important than shoveling dirt. Isn’t that flattering? Our purpose driven lives are full to overflowing with our own self-importance when nothing we do makes any lasting impact on a large scale. Now, don’t get depressed yet… this idea isn’t being perpetuated by a bunch of nobodies.
Einstein, Franklin, Bach, C.S. Lewis, Handel and others have understood this concept. If you’re living to become great, take note: living to please ones’ self becomes nothing; it’s worthless in this life and especially the next. Living to please fickle people amounts to the same. So, what lasts?
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I don’t count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. – Philippians 3:7-9
How many kids say they want to become “righteous” when they grow up? (Maybe in surfing culture… haha!) We don’t think about it and it’s impossible for us to do on our own. As I said in “Playing for Blood” our idea of achievement and greatness is universally different from God’s.
So, with this in mind, the secret Truth is: to truly become great, you first have to recognize your own insignificance.