This morning on my way to church, I was thinking about how most people are so caught up in being good that they miss out on being great. Satisfied with not being the bad guy, they settle into a safe zone. Okay with good enough, they forgo greatness.
Then at church the first thing our pastor did was read the first two pages out of the book, The Power of Hope by Dutch Sheets
"In 1965 During a family reunion in Florida, a grandmother woke everyone at 2:00 a.m., issuing orders to get empty Coke bottles, corks, and paper. 'I've received a message from God,' she said. 'People must hear His Word.' She wrote verses on the paper while the grandchildren bottled and corked them. Then everyone deposited over two hundred bottles into the surf at Cocoa Beach.
People contacted and thanked her for the scriptures throughout the years. She died November 1974. The next month the last letter arrived.
Dear Mrs. Gause,
I'm writing this letter by candlelight. We no longer have electricity on the farm. My husband was killed in the fall when the tractor overturned. He left eleven young children and myself behind. The bank is foreclosing, there's one loaf of bread left, there's snow on the ground, and Christmas is two weeks away. I prayed for forgiveness before I went to drown myself. The river has been frozen over for weeks, so I didn't think it would take long. When I broke the ice, a Coke bottle floated up. I opened it, and with tears and trembling hands, I read about hope.
'But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.'
You went on to reference other scriptures: Hebrews 7:19; 6:18; John 3:3. I came home and read my Bible and now I'm thanking God for the message. We're going to make it now. Please pray for us, but we're all right.
May God bless you and yours.
A Farm in Ohio
How did this life-saving Coke bottle make a nine-year journey all the way from Cocoa Beach, Florida, to a rive in Ohio? Not just any river, mind you, but the right rive, near the right farm, at the right time."
Greatness often looks like crazy. Like a crazy old grandma waking up at 2:00 a.m. and making her family help her deposit 200 messages of hope into the surf.
Greatness is crazy. It's not safe. Greatness is walking on water. Not because it's humanly possible, but because with God anything is possible. Because when we fix our eyes on Him and we stop trying to please the world and every person in it... He can use us to reach and touch and change the world.
Greatness is selfless. It's loving your neighbor as you love yourself. It's dying on a cross for all sins. I mean think about it. Jesus didn't come to earth concerned about what people would think of Him. Rather He literally became the ultimate bad guy. He took on all of our sins, was hated and crucified. Greatness is living The Crucified Life (which sidenote, is the name of an amazing book I highly recommend to ALL!).
Here's the deal, I don't want a good life. I want a great life. I don't want safe. I want adventure. I don't want comfort. I want radical. I don't want to be the most liked person. I want to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. I don't want to live a life about me. I want to live for Him, for His Glory.
It's always easier said than done. This I know. As a girl I was the ultimate "good girl." Utterly safe. But safe doesn't do much and as I grow older and more confident in my faith, I find myself with an unnatural courage that I can only credit God for. His voice, not mine. For His greatness, not mine.