Meme with the quote: "'It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual that to labor diligently for . . . the masses.' Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), Secretary-General of the United Nations" on a photo of a father encouraging a young son to walk toward the ocean

By @JeanneTakenaka

I’ve lost track of how many times, in my heart of hearts, I’ve yearned to make a difference in our world. As a teen, I was certain the path to greatness lay just ahead of me. All I needed was to find the said path, and I’d be on my way. 

Now, decades later, at times I still yearn to impact my world, through writing, serving, and encouraging. But a glimpse from the outside of my life reveals very little “greatness.” I’m an unpublished writer-mom of teenaged boy-men.

A photo of a mother with two children watching ducks, a reminder that the path to greatness often begins with intentional relationship

I don many ordinary caps in a day:

Chauffeur

Cook

Maid

Organizer

And on occasion, counselor.

These all appear insignificant from the outside.

A photo of a father with his daughter at the zoo

But there’s truth in the quote: “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for . . . the masses.”

Impact: What is the Path to Greatness, Really? “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for . . . the masses.” ~Dag Hammarskjold #tellhisstory #pathtogreatness Click To Tweet

Perhaps we need to redefine “greatness.” What if the pouring out of myself into the lives of those who live within the four walls of my home is the nobler thing? 

A photo of a mother duck leading her ducklings

Perhaps the giving up or postponing some of my dreams is the path to greatness?

What if making choices to place my husband and our sons above myself is what equals world-changing stuff? If our sons launch into this big, scary world with the confidence that they’re loved—knowing Hubs and I have their back—does that equal greatness? When we offer them the security that they’re not alone, does that reveal a bit of greatness? Even more, when they know they are loved by a great and compassionate God, maybe that’s a hint of greatness.

A tree-lined path; a reminder that the path to greatness is a journey

Which Way Is the Path to Greatness?

If God had given me some of my dreams when I was a younger woman, how would that have impacted my future choices? Would I have two amazing sons and one incredible husband in my corner? I doubt I would have learned the hard, humbling lessons that raising children forges into a mama’s heart. 

Had I placed pursuing my dreams over intentionally loving my family, I’m certain none of us would be doing well today. 

A baby bunny all alone

Sometimes, greatness comes when we choose to lay aside what we want to feed the souls of those closest to us. Because it’s in learning to die to self and to love others well that God fulfills our desire for “greatness”. At times, we need a perspective-shift, don’t we?

Impact: What is the Path to Greatness, Really? Sometimes, greatness comes when we choose to lay aside what we want to feed the souls of those closest to us. #tellhisstory #pathtogreatness Click To Tweet

Maybe, we need to view greatness from God’s perspective. To be great in our Father’s eyes is to emulate Him in our actions, our words, our obedience to Him. Greatness is to reflect His love into the lives of those around us and those He allows to cross our paths.

A path with dewy grass and trees silhouetted by early morning sunlight

Mine will probably never become a household name. And that’s okay. If my name is spoken well of by my sons—and if they remember me as the mother who loved them well and pointed them to Jesus—then I will have walked the path to greatness.

What about you? What has come of your great dreams from your young years? How does greatness look to you now?

***This was originally posted at LearnHowToWriteANovel.com

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