First and foremost, you should watch this...
This is a poem written by author Jon Acuff, who read it aloud to close the STARTConference in September. It was then taken by a young lady named Libby Norcross who has turned "doodling" into a fine art, and then edited by a dude named Todd. I know it took over a week to put together, and its quite a work of art.
So, second, my favorite line? "Will you be great, or greatly known?", circled with a big, fat fancy circle for emphasis. Its like, if you write the words "Go by the market and pick up my prescription at 715p", then you circled 715p to make sure that that one part stood out... same thing. Its important.
Will I Be Great? Or Just Greatly Known?
That's not the question though... the question isn't "If you are going to be Great...", the question is, in fact, "Will you be great? Or just Greatly Known?" Its automatically assuming you'll be one or the other, so see, the confidence in you is already there.
I have thought that I wanted to be greatly known. People would know my name, know my work, know my face, and maybe not be necessarily "famous", but known.
Never mind that I wasn't necessarily Great at anything. When I am Known, I'll have the resources to be
great, when I am Known, then I'll become Great. As a matter of fact, the options of being great now are finite. But when I become Greatly Known, the options of being great? Limitless!
Is it right to depend on my fame and notoriety to become Great? Maybe I should become Great first. Think about it.. how many people do you know that are Greatly Known? The Kardashians. Paris Hilton. Ke$ha. Whether they are Great is a matter of opinion, but for me, I'd say no. But they are undeniably Known.
But I'll bet you know lots of people who aren't Known, but are exceedingly Great.
For example... my buddy Justin Fisher is in a wheelchair due to lifelong cerebral palsy. Rather than being whiny about it, he became more than a speaker--he is a public storyteller. So much so that he even wrote a book... He's not Greatly Known outside a southern circle of churches and people... but he's Great.
I know a chick who writes chick blogs with Jesus and stuff. Her name is Jamie Harper, and even though I'm not, nor have ever been, a chick, she writes oh so well, and I love reading her posts. They inspire, they make me think and her personal rawness is so genuine. Outside of our church and other blogs she writes on, maybe she isn't Greatly Known, but I know she's Great.
My friend Meredith also wrote a book... my friend Kim writes an amazing blog... my friend Wade Morris is crossing that rare line where he is Great AND Greatly Known... Jon Acuff, who this whole START mess stemmed from, is also Great AND Greatly Known...
I am by no means a mature Christian, in many ways, I'm kind of a dork... but one thing I think--I hope--I am learning is that being Great is much better than being Greatly Known. And I don't mean "look at me, I'm so great!", I mean being someone who lives a life chasing Greatness, chasing what God meant for me to be, not to be mired in a ho-hum existence that I will look back upon with great regret at 74 years of age.
And if I can be Great, if I truly have a heart that desires Greatness first with The Great One, then in the purposes of my own life and those around me... it won't matter if I am ever Greatly Known.
I cannot speak for Justin, Jamie, Kim, Meredith, Wade, Libby (the doodler in the video) or even Jon... but I suspect if you asked them "Would you rather be Great and inspire 50 people to achieve their goals, to strengthen their walk, to be Great themselves, or would you rather just be someone who lots of people know, and just be Greatly Known...", my guess they would all pick the first option.
So... do you want to be Great? Or just Greatly Known? Me? Spent 30 years wanting to be Greatly Known... spent the last 30 minutes just wanting to be Great, and even moreso, wanting YOU to be Great. Maybe I'll get Greatly Known.
For now, I'm content.