I recently heard the Christian song, entitled, How Great is Our God. That and a certain political campaign slogan have caused me to ponder what it means to be great or to achieve greatness. I imagine that the songwriter attached greatness to God because of his supernatural powers, the ability to create the universe, to have foreknowledge of the future, to hold everyone accountable for their actions. Then maybe the artist had a different measure of greatness. Perhaps he or she viewed God as extraordinary because of his love, patience, and graciousness.
This latter measure of greatness is actually much at odds with what many assume is the proper way to assess greatness. Greatness, as in worthiness of profound respect, is often associated with aggressiveness, competitiveness, and even ruthless self interest. In other words greatness only applies to fighters and winners. You are an Alpha top dog or you are definitely not great under this prevalent paradigm.
In a very real sense, I believe humanity has been called to greatness by God through the ministry of Jesus. But it is not the greatness of the warrior or the one blessed with exception ability or intellect. Instead Jesus calls us to embrace the greatness of self sacrifice, of humility and graciousness, of profound love. His is a form of greatness that stands in stark contrast to the egoist concept of greatness which has infused human history.
Jesus redefined reality for the human race, including what it means to be our greatest self. With that redefinition, he encouraged us all to embrace his new mindset and thereby achieve a divine eminence that lies out there just at the edge of our spiritual awareness.