I’ve wanted to achieve greatness for as long as I can remember. For years, the drive surged from the dark underbelly of pride that scratched and clawed to be let loose. It was an ugly desire–baring nothing good or wholesome about it.
I think the desire for greatness is not altogether bad. The desire to succeed has driven many a person to become world-changers in their own right. The conviction that drives creation and improvisation, in and of itself, is not a wicked thing. The trouble arises when we misuse our gifts, misunderstand our purpose and mishandle our desires. The trouble is, we forget the One who equips and calls us to such labor. Like the disciples, we want the glory apart from suffering.
In Luke 22, Jesus is gathered with the disciples at the Last Supper when they begin to argue about which one of them is considered the greatest. As Jesus prepares to head to the cross, the 12 are concerned about which one of them will be remembered above the others. At first read, I balk at their audacity. I can’t imagine sitting beside the SON OF GOD, bickering with my friends about who among us would be considered great. But my inability to imagine the audacity of this scene only stems from my pride, because as quickly as I have that thought, I recognize that the only reason I cannot imagine it is because I have already claimed my own greatness over that of the disciples. I would never do that, I presume. And in that quick twisting of thoughts, I find myself there at the table, tossing my own name in the ring for greatness.