Greatness is rarely hampered by failure. In fact, most great people suffer far more failures than they do success. They just try that many more times. Baseball players almost always strike out more than they hit. Michael Jordan has missed more shots than you or I have even taken. The greatest golfers can be at the top of their game and never make a hole in one. Failure isn't that biggest obstacle that prevents you from experiencing greatness...often the greatest hurdle is DIVISION!
We understand the devastating impact division can have on a business, church, organization, family or even sports team. We don't even have to have that discussion because everyone would be in agreement. Division can keep the greatest teams from ever winning a game and the best of families from ever experiencing love.
However, the division I am speaking of here is not the division between groups of individuals. It is the division within ourselves. The division that occurs when we are torn between who we were created to be and who the world wants us to be.
I am reminded of this type of division every year about this time as the basketball season gets going full steam. Everyone is looking in the paper and on the internet for the line scores to see who beat who. Posted with the scores is usually a few awful words that build an icon but destroy the sport - "Scoring Leader."
Everyone wants to see their name as the lead scorer. However, those couple of words tell us nothing about the game of basketball. They don't tell of the rebounder who stoked the scoring drive with the quick outlet pass. They don't tell of the steal that gave the winning team the advantage in the game. They don't tell of the countless passes that moved the defense out of position to enable the score. They do very little, except ruin the game and destroy the greatness that is TEAM.
We all want to be noticed. Don't believe me...take a look on Facebook and see how many pictures you have taken of yourself. On most profiles selfies outnumber all other pictures put together. Now look at how many selfies depict people with different looks, hair styles, and faces. I would wager that 99% of teenage girls have the "fish face" picture on their profile somewhere. I would also wager that most teenage boys have the "gangster" pic up somewhere (it might just be a hand gesture or turned hat). We all want to fit in. We want to be talked about. We want to be noticed. We want to be mentioned in the line score notes - Leading Scorer.
Often this leads to us trying to be something we are not. We destroy greatness in an attempt to be an average somebody else. I am convinced many people would rather be the star on a losing team than the sixth-man on a championship team. That is why greatness is so rare.
We are divided within ourselves. We, each of us, have greatness within our reach. We were created to be great. God created us and the Bible says, "Great are your works, Oh Lord!" You were created to be great, but you can only be great by being YOU. Being the unique individual you were created to be who impacts the world in the way only you can.
All of us are on a team - family, work, school, sport, church - we all have a position to play. The media might not care about your position. The world might not care about your position. But I promise you this, coaches who understand the game of basketball plan for the player that runs the floor and holds the team together, the player that takes away their opportunity for second shots, the defensive player that can ruin the tempo of the game. They don't just plan for the leading scorer.
In the same way, others plan for the great people in this world and how they can stunt their greatness. Far to often it is by tempting them to always be the leading scorer rather than the player they were created to be. And I'm not talking about basketball. I'm talking about the dad who does the everyday little things that make him great and is tempted to give them up for fame or fortune. I'm talking about the worker that quietly changes the world for the better while the CEO takes the credit. Far to often this leads to her quitting her job (because she didn't get noticed) and no longer is the world being made better.
God knows greatness. God is Greatness. And God has put greatness in you! He knows what it looks like and he smiles every time He sees it in you.
The question is are you able to accept greatness? Are you able to accept who you were created to be? Are you willing to play your part to the fullest potential regardless of whether or not your position is in the headlines? Are you willing to look for greatness in others and cheer them on? Are you willing to look behind the shot, to see the pass, the outlet, the rebound, the steal, and the coach that prepared the team?
Or are you going to be an average idiot your whole life, only see the score, live in division with yourself and never experience greatness?
You can have the leading scorers of the world. I'll take the great players that are never mentioned. And trust me, we will kick you butt every time! Because GREATNESS is found when position players work together as a TEAM!
About Warren Martin
WARREN MARTIN is a philosophy graduate of Texas Tech University. He is an author, teacher, minister, artist, quasi-philosopher and speaker known for his unique teaching style. His passion is to share the grace of Christ and to inspire & invest in the next generation of leaders. Learn more here:
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