What it takes to be great

Do you want to be great?

On my college graduation, a friend from high school whom I haven’t talked to for years sent me a text message congratulating me and saying, “I know you will do great things.”

Obviously, I never forgot about her message and kept it in my heart even until today.

After facing rejections during job applications, being disillusioned with the corporate world, having regrets about my decisions, and failing (a lot) in making my dreams a reality, I only seemed to go farther and farther away from greatness.

It has been almost eight years since I graduated from college and I know I am not yet where I have always wanted to be in my career and financially.

But looking back, all the things I went through are finally starting to make sense.

Over the years, God allowed failures and mistakes in my life to humble me and to teach me to accept, embrace, and rejoice in my sufferings as they allow me to share in His. 

He taught me to truly desire Him and to seek Him alone in everything I am doing. 

He taught me to serve and love Him and my brethren.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that service is what it takes to be great:

“Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” — Matthew 20:26-27

While I did not achieve the “greatness” I wanted to have in the eyes of the world, God taught me how to be great in His eyes.

I am still a work in progress, but by pursuing His greatness and not the greatness of this world, I also learned not only to serve, but also to be content, to be grateful for what I have, and to even love myself — for who I am, for what I have right now.

Do you want to be great?

Serve.

Love.