Imagine this. You enter a tattered room scattered with lifeless people. The stench of death is overwhelming and persistent. But so is the pressing of an undeniable force. What is this thing that is trying so desperately to disrupt the circumstance of this room? It’s so vast, you can’t get around it. It’s a sensation called greatness, an average-sized word with a massive appeal.
Greatness breaches cramped spaces where practices of mundane and mediocre suffocate. Much like an athlete who puts in the extra work to help catapult his/her team to record-breaking stats. Or the “techie” who engages in relentless innovation to transform how the world responds in crises. Anyone interested in the beauty and hope of greatness has to deny within themselves every thought and action that sabotages a pursuit to be better and to do better.
Seekers of greatness have target focus, distinct goals, and recognition and reliance on someone more significant than their pursuits. The Almighty God, the great ‘I Am,’ is the giver of greatness. Are we comfortable refusing God’s gift, only to remain lifeless? God’s grace provides space and opportunity for us to grab hold of the greatness He gives. Inviting God into our cramped and dismal experiences makes room for Him to show His might, compelling us to move out of our own way to let God have His way.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
“I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father.” – John 14:12
I was raised with the nugget, authenticity matters. It matters, not because it’s impressive, but it matters because it’s decent. The alternative, according to my parents growing up, was unacceptable. Fake and phony had no place in the way my siblings and I were to interact with one another, with family, friends or even strangers. My husband was raised the same way. Likewise, we have raised our children with the same teaching. However, I’m learning authenticity and decency are not nuggets everyone wants.
Who wants to be truthful, faithful or dependable when pleasure is a competing option? Who wants to be “unpopular” in today’s fan and follower hierarchical systems? Decent practices stick out like sore thumbs in our society and they only receive the undivided attention of others when crisis plagues the landscape and threatens the horizon. Well, here we are. Our copious days of crises are leading us all to a crucible. To be authentic or not to be. To be decent or not to be. No rocket science here, just a decision in humanness. Some have made the pivotal decision, evidenced by the discussion of authenticity in board rooms, mission statements, and its bold presence on the lips of transforming leaders. Authenticity is the new buzz word that trumps fake and phony and yields innovation and lasting fruit.
Authenticity is stirring an uprising in our midst. It competes with selfish tendencies and practices. It competes with the belief, “Fake it till you make it.” It competes with systems and processes that reward popularity vs. substance. This uprising lifts up God’s way. Be truthful, be faithful, be dependable. Someone is depending on your decision to do so. Authenticity matters.