When you look outside, what do you see?
Clouds? Trees? Grass and dirt probably, right? And all of these things in their own right are beautiful. Clouds, on the forefront of a bright, blue canvas of a sky can spark our imagination. They can bring out the nostalgia we had as children when we laid on the yard and imagined seeing dogs and spaceships. Trees, in a group, can look like a parade of colors on a beautiful fall day; they can give us a show by themselves when their leaves shed and a chilly wind graces our skin. Grass can complete the picture—a green pasture that makes you just want to relax and have a picnic.
But what do all these things have in common, besides the fact that they can be beautiful, or are of nature? I’ll tell you.
They are all built from the smallest of things. They all are a compound of many to complete a greater whole. Clouds have water particles and condensation; trees have leaves, bark and roots; grass has dirt and fibers. And all of these things are built by even more miniscule molecules to make even their lesser parts.
They all start from humble, small beginnings to build something grand.
I really feel like nowadays, especially with people in their twenty-somethings (like me) or younger, we all have aspirations to do some extraordinary things. Society, one way or another, gives us these goals and causes which, right or wrong, good or bad, are ambitious to say the least. Change the world. Get rich or die trying. Become famous. Be the BEST. They dare us to dream, or on the opposite end, tell us we can’t and sweep our legs from under us—put us in a box and tell us, “No”.
Now don’t misread me! Having ambitions in and of itself is NOT a bad thing! In fact, I would say daring to dream is a great thing, because there are many of us who settle for mediocrity or settle for par, instead of going for the hole-in-one or achieving our potential with what God has gifted us with. And I do believe God has given everyone a gift. You might not know it now, but you have a gift that God has blessed you with—you just need to lean on Him and unlock whatever that thing is. For the longest time I hated dancing, hated speaking, and knew I was good at writing in school. Never as a kid did I think I would be traveling to other countries for dancing, doing public speaking or writing often!
But something miffs me about the other thing societal pressures seem to be feeding us younger people. Something seems off. And what is that thing? That thing is that everything dealing with ambitions or goals deals hand-in-hand with the words “quick”, “now”, and “immediately”.
Everyone wants to get to the finish line fast. No one wants to appreciate the scenery.
Instant gratification is the new hotness, and patience is the old and busted.
But that’s not how greatness is built. That’s not how legacies are built! Greatness is built on the small, humble building blocks of sweat, hard work and the occasional cut. It’s built on the notion that every little thing is a part of the process and should be equally as important and remembered when you stare at the blessing that is the finished product. When we are babies we don’t just get up and start sprinting like Usain Bolt. Heck, even Usain Bolt had to crawl as a baby—he was pushing and almost fell off of his bed—but he sure as heck wasn’t sprinting. No, he was still crawling, and he is one of, if not the greatest, track and field athletes of all time.
We should work hard at every little thing we do to achieve our dreams, and be patient. God will deliver His timing through our efforts, no doubt about it. Yet he also calls us to take things day by day, step by step with Him if we are to see results. It’s doing all the still important little things; building our foundations that will give us the finished product. If you are constructing a brick house, and your bricks are all brittle and cracked and you aren’t sealing them together properly, do you think your house will stand in a hurricane or a natural disaster? No. It will crash, crumble and fall to the pressures of the outside world because you didn’t take the time and care necessary to ensure its strength.
If we are to build legacies for ourselves, we have to remember what a legacy is. A legacy, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past”. It’s something great that people remember, handed down through generations and a lot of time. How do we make sure we build a long lasting legacy then?
It’s fair to say that building a long lasting legacy, if it is to be handed down through time, is by building relationships and affecting the lives of others genuinely.
How do we do that? Simple.
We take the time to do the little things for others in our lives. We go out of our way to help someone; speak words of encouragement and motivation when someone needs lifted; be there when a friend or loved one needs us.
And if we really want to leave a legacy, we live our lives for the very thing we believe so strongly about—we live with a driven purpose, and live as a living testament to God. We live for the thing we are willing to die for.
That’s how you build greatness; a legacy. You focus on each day, each little thing, like it matters. Only then will we truly cherish the greatness that God has planned for us.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach