Greatness is not the absence of humility; it is the absence of apathy. Just as you can be famous and not be great, you can be great and not famous. Although the Modern Warrior may gain great fame, it is never their ambition. Let fame be the food of lesser men. To the Modern Warrior, greatness is not the product of ego but of Service. If you live for yourself, you can settle for less. If you live for others, it requires all of who you are. This is why the Modern Warrior never envies the greatness of others but in fact honors and admires it. The life of the Modern Warrior is defined by the pursuit of greatness. This is their greatest act of service because true pursuit of greatness doesn’t leave room for envy. Your personal journey to greatness should not diminish someone else’s instead it should awaken the greatness within someone else. In this way you also serve while aspiring to be your best. The call to servanthood finds its power only when it is received by those who are in the pursuit of greatness. It is not wrong to aspire to greatness. The warning here is to be careful to never confuse fame with greatness. Otherwise, you may be aspiring to what is not really greatness at all. Fame is what you do for yourself; greatness is what you do for others.
It has always fascinated me that the words samurai and deacon have the same core meaning. They both mean “servant.” The samurai were known as the greatest of warriors, yet they did not live for themselves. Their highest honor was to live lives of service for the one who was their lord. This is the way of the Modern Warrior: to serve is to sacrifice. To serve is to give oneself for the good of others. Servanthood is not a stage of life; it is a posture of the heart.
Greatness is never found; it is gained. Greatness never comes easy; it’s always the outcome of great discipline and hard work. If you’re comfortable with where you are, if you’re complacent, you will never discover the greatness that lies within. I don’t know what your calling is. You may be a teacher or an architect or a doctor or a carpenter. But if you choose the way of the Modern Warrior, living a life of service, it will demand of you the best that you have. You may not need to be great, but the world needs your greatness. Whatever God has placed within you that could ever be described as great was never meant for you, anyway. It’s a stewardship that has been given to you. Greatness never belongs to the one who carries it; it belongs to the world that needs it. Passion is the fuel of greatness, and love is the fuel of passion. When we love someone or something, we give them all of us. This is the elegant interconnection between servanthood and greatness. It is love that drives us to serve and love that drives us to greatness. This is why the two cannot be mutually exclusive. In the end, the one who serves is the one who is great, as they are the one who love most profoundly.