A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at one of Los Angeles’ most respected churches, 1st Church of God Center of Hope. I spoke to the youth and college age students – a joy for me if there ever was one! I love this age because there is so much expectancy, so many dreams that haven’t even begun to take form yet. There is also so much hurt and confusion, and desperate cries for validation that echo through the windows of their young spirits. It’s as if all of their emotions, thoughts, and actions could translate into a simple, “ Do you hear me?” “Do you see me?” “Am I worth positive attention?” I think social networking is a testament to the fact that many adults have taken similar thoughts and feelings along for the ride of life. The question is, what do we do with that? How do we respond to a soul that is beckoning us to be connected to something deeper, and something more substantial?
The church’s motto or vision statement for the year was “Great Expectations”. A great book, and a fairly easy concept to conceive or at least one would think so. Great expectations? This phrase struck many chords with me. How can we begin to expect such a rare and virtually extinct adjective (great)? The word great is not used that often. If we answer with anything other than “good” to “how are you?” we are going to have to explain ourselves. You just don’t go around saying your great, let alone expecting it! There is almost an underlying fear in using it. Sometimes a hopeful sense of optimism can be frightening. There must be some deep significance to that word. If we all would like to get to a place where we are literally expecting great things in our lives, we would have to know what Greatness looks like. According to Webster’s dictionary greatness is described as the extraordinary, significant, considerable, substantial, serious, worthy, and special things. In a sense it is the very essence of the word excellence.
There is a vast difference between greatness and success. Greatness is something so much more. Success is a worldly admission that you are the master of your own life. You are accountable to you, and at the end of the day, all you truly care about is you. Success is fueled by will power, and a competition to remain higher than the status quo. But success runs out.
Our souls were designed for greatness.
Greatness means there is something so precious, something so important that is pulling us forward day in and day out. It whispers to us in our thoughts and in the way we conduct ourselves. It is the absence of social status. It is where true integrity and freedom lie. Greatness is not allowing financial security or popularity to affect your personal potential. Greatness means not settling for a life of mediocrity and It pushes us to look at how we spend our money, what we talk about and dream about. It is our force and reason for living. For me, it is my relationship with Christ. He’s always there. Beckoning me to do good with what He’s given me. To achieve any level of greatness, we must first have a habitual vision of greatness. What do we look like at our best? Who is the person you know you can be? More importantly, what type of person do you want to be? Once we have established some form of clarity, then the real work can begin. All of our rituals and habits need to be pointed to the vision each one of us have. We truly are defined by our habits. There comes a point where the mediocre lifestyle literally begins to suck the life out of us. We become surrounded by complacency only to be followed by an unidentified sense of depression. Whatever ounce of strength is deep down in you that says, no more! I’m not going to take it anymore! I know there is more to this life, and I want it with all of my heart-Focus and dwell on it this week and let those emotions stir up deep down inside of you. Let them fester until you know that you never want to live the same again. Make a decision to get alone to think, meditate, pray about and focus on these things. Life is such a beautiful gift. Let’s make it a great one.
What does your best you look like?
Key steps to expecting greatness everyday of your life.