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Summary: Greatness in the eyes of the world is not the same as greatness in the eyes of God. What does it take to be great in God's eyes?

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The Road to Greatness

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By Pastor James May

How does the world judge a man to be great?

Often men are declared to be great if they have the ability to influence heads of state or leaders in society as Statesmen. These are often found as Leaders of Nations, peacekeepers and builders of society.

James Madison, James Buchanan, Millard Fillmore, John Quincey Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, James Munroe and John Adams are a few names that come to mind.

Some men are declared to be great because they have a literary genius with the gift of writing a story in such a manner that it will entertain or enlighten the masses.

James Russell Lowell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bayard Taylor, J. C. Whittier, William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Washington Irving are but a few that I have read some of their great stories.

Other great men come from the ranks of those who have the ability to paint a picture in your mind by using words and phrases, creating poems, short stories and plays that will stir the heart and soul.

Frederick Schiller, Robert Browning, Edgar A Poe “quote the Raven “Nevermore”, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Shakespearem “To be or not to be; that is the question” and “Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo”, John Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness”, Robert Burns, Johann Wolfgang Goethe and John Milton and his “Paradise Lost” are just a few.

A few men throughout history have had greatness placed upon them because of their ability to discover the secrets of science and mathematics; bringing the whole of mankind into a new realm of knowledge and creating a better way of life.

Who among us have not heard of Sir. Isaac Newton and his study of gravity. He discovered gravity supposedly when an apple fell out of the tree and hit him on the head and he couldn’t understand why. Aristotle the philosopher and scientist, Galileo and his studies of the stars and inventor of the telescope, Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity; Marie Curie and the study of Radium and X-Rays, Thomas Edison with his light bulb and telephone, Louis Pasteur and his studies that made so many of foods we eat safer to consume; and good old Guglielmo Marconi who invented wireless telegraph and radio waves – the precursor to the cell phone

Most of us here have also been influenced by some of the great musicians and composers of the world, people who were declared great becasue of their gift of making sounds into a force to move both body and soul, or directing great orchestras to thrill the listeners.

Johann Sebastian Bach, George Handel and his “Messiah”, Peter Tchaikovsky and his work called “Sugar Plum Fairy”; better known to most of us at Christmas time as “The Nutcracker”, Frederic Chopin whose piano concertos are played at many a piano recital; and let’s not forget old Ludwig Von Beethoven and his 5th Symphony that begins with “ta-ta-ta-TA”.

In this world there is only one way to truly be considered a great man or woman, and that it to have the ability to use your talent and charisma to move the hearts and men and to influence the very culture and existence of the society in which you live.

It has been said that inside each of us are the seeds of greatness. The problem is that for most of us, those seeds never produce what it takes to make us great in the eyes of the world. Most people are born into this world to live in mediocrity; after all, if we were all great, then who would be truly great? Greatness in the world can only be attained by doing more, accomplishing more or being more than anyone around you. A man or woman who want to be great in the eyes of his neighbor must rise above the ordinary; reach for the impossible and achieve the improbably. He or she must be willing to go where “no man has gone before”. Most people will never pay that price or reach that high. They do not believe that the achievement of such dreams is meant for them; and so they relegate themselves to being common, ordinary men and women who never truly experience the great thrill of victory or the tremendous agony of defeat.

Since I don’t see the seed of greatness according to the world growing too rapidly in most of us tonight, I thought it might be good to know that the standards of greatness used by the world are vastly different than those used by our Creator to establish who is truly great among men.

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