Letter #680: Work Despite Greatness


Dear moments,

We live for you. The Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals. Graduation, wedding day, childbirth. The next date party, conference or vacation. We love to live our lives highlighting and longing for you.

What I’m learning is that life’s a lot less about you and much more about everything else.

Life seems to be much more about daily alarm clocks, laundry, the 8-5, fighting for community and paying bills. The normal, every day occurrences.

This might seem boring, but I would argue that the way the average tasks are approached matters. That these are what makes or breaks an individual and ultimately the moments.

We celebrate the moments of greatness. The playoff games, the speaking engagements in front of thousands, the promotions. But rarely do we celebrate the daily sacrifices it takes to get to the moment. The weight room, the 5am wake ups, the quiet of study and prayer nobody will ever see. We tend to long for the spotlight without wanting to pay our dues backstage.

Last month I had the chance to go to Catalyst Conference in Dallas (great conference, highly recommend!). While at the conference, this idea hit me afresh. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not a concept I naturally want to accept.

My takeaway wasn’t one of the speaker’s topics, but as I sat in a sea of people the moment was sucking me in. It’s so easy to see the speakers who’ve sold thousands of books and get paid to travel and speak and be consumed by their success. Envy. Jealousy. Appreciation. Reverence. The way we view ‘celebrities’ varies, but more often than not our view is similar. Incorrect.

We long for what they have or maybe we quiver even thinking about the responsibility that comes with it, but either way we rarely stop and think about what sacrifices had to happen before their moment of greatness. And even when we do realize it, we rarely want to work on our own.

But even when we are willing to work, when we do wake up early, fight against complacency and press into eternity, we have to be ok with the fact that we still may never achieve greatness. At least in the world’s eyes. We may spend our entire lives going unnoticed by the masses, but this doesn’t mean we are in the wrong or that we aren’t serving faithfully.

Work hard. Invest well. See people. Live purposefully. Not because you’re waiting for your moment of fame or greatness to come, but because there’s no other way worth living. Work despite greatness.

While at Catalyst, I was reminded not to live idolizing the success of others. Celebrate their highlights, but live my own moments…no matter the size. Serve. Work. Love. Live well in the dailies because they are filled with some of the most important moments we’ll ever have.

On the daily grind,


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I'm Lindsay. I write letters at least one a day to be exact. I love words of affirmation, the OKC Thunder, Oklahoma State, tempos with v-necks, ice water, garage sales, budgeting and Blue Bell. Processing life and quality conversation make me tick. I'm simple yet complex all at the same time. My family and friends mean more to me than the world, but my identity lies in Christ.

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