There is much to gain in our pursuit of greatness. Like a treasure hunter finding his prize, we have the reward of finding that which we are searching for. We gain intimacy with our Creator, personal growth, and wisdom that only comes from the Lord, the wisdom that gives us the ability to handle life skillfully. There is undoubtedly great rewards in choosing to pursue greatness. Have you ever considered, however, the impact your pursuit has on those around you?
Proverbs 10:17 says, “He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.” As I read this verse, I pondered my path, that which I am pursuing, and asked the question, “Am I a way of life for others or a path toward ruin?” Whether we acknowledge it or not, others are watching and many are following the path we are paving in our lives. No matter how long God allows us to live, we will leave a path for others, both the ones we know and the generations we may never meet. I deeply desire for the path that I leave to not only lead others to life, but I desire for the path I leave to be extremely clear. I believe this is done with two vital tools, faithfulness and humility.
Proverbs tells us over and over the value of humility. Even this verse in Proverbs 10:17 tells us that if we want our life to be a way of life for others, we must heed instruction and correction. This is only done through a spirit of humility. We must remain teachable and be intentional about cultivating a spirit that is willing to learn and grow. No matter where we are in our personal pursuit of greatness, we have not arrived. There is still ground to cover and treasures to discover, and we cannot make the journey alone. We are in need of God and others. This spirit that is teachable and willing to yield is true wisdom (James 3:17), and it is a vital component in one’s pursuit of greatness.
The other vital tool that we must cling to in our pursuit of greatness is faithfulness. We can count on discouragement, disappointments, and even heartbreak along our journey, however, the assurance of His faithfulness to us is a solid foundation under our feet. His faithfulness are the markers along our path. We, too, must be faithful, consistent to the pursuit before us. We’ve probably all heart the phrase, “stuck in a rut”. It wasn’t until recently, when a friend of ours, named Clark Beckham, made a reference to ruts. His analogy reminded me that ruts can a good thing. Just like a path clearly marked by years of travel, if I walk in such a way, consistently pursuing the Lord, my life will leave ruts for others to follow. I want the “rut” that I’m creating (that which I am doing), to clearly lead others toward Christ and the greatness He invites each of us to pursue. This can go either way, and in fact, it will go one way or the other for each of us. We will each leave a “rut” of some sort, but the daily choices we make and the pursuits of our hearts. We get to choose what the ruts look like, but we only get one life to create them. You may not see them as clearly today, but mark it down, your choices today are leaving a path that points to something. What will it be for you? Will you pursue selfish ambition, a mere corporate ladder, your own self absorbed affections, or will you pursue Christ and all the greatness He is and what He has prepared for you? Through humility and faithfulness, may we each leave ruts, like Proverbs 10:17 says, that are a “way of life” to others. May we be ever mindful that our pursuits matter and they have impacts that we may never live to fully see.