When I was a kid, I always wanted to play hockey like Richard Brodeur. As a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, I remember the crazy scene as thousands of Canucks fans waved towels in the air. King Richard was unstoppable in the eyes of this little boy.
Over time, new heroes would emerge and disappear. Every hero was met with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm and the effort to imitate their actions whenever I would play with my friends.
Deep down in my heart, I don’t think I really wanted to be like any of these individuals as far as their character goes. What I really longed for, and what is part of the lure of sports for so many men, is the opportunity to achieve greatness like my heroes seemed to be achieving.
We admire greatness. That’s why we get so excited for athletes who are the best in the world. We also desire greatness—we want to be acknowledged by others as being great at something.
Most of us will never be as great as the best athletes, and so new generations have turned to video games to help us live out these moments. The marketing slogan of Playstation is “Greatness Awaits.” If I can’t be as good as Connor McDavid in real life, then maybe I could just be him on my television screen.
The disciples of Jesus were not a whole lot different than many men are today. On two separate occasions, two of Jesus’ disciples would ask him this question—“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
A question like this feels rather arrogant and ignorant when you are reading the Scriptures. Jesus, however, does not respond with anger or disgust at their question. Instead, Jesus responds by teaching His disciples how to be great.
In the world of the Kingdom of God, real greatness requires becoming a servant to others and having the humility of a child.
Too many men are believing the lies of where to find real greatness. Real greatness is not found in sports, or careers, or diplomas, or cars. In the mind of Jesus, real greatness is found by willingly giving of yourself for the benefit of others finding life, and to do so with an attitude of humility.
This kind of greatness is what Jesus has shown towards us, and this kind of greatness is what every man can find through Jesus.
Men — stop pursuing greatness by trying to be like your heroes. Real greatness awaits you in the Kingdom of God.
This article first appeared in Seven Magazine from Promise Keepers Canada. You can view the entire edition of the magazine online at www.promisekeepers.ca/seven/in-the-game/