“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

I was talking with a brand new Christian the other day and I brought up the name Billy Graham. His response to me was, “Billy who?”—I had to chuckle inside. Chances are you and I will never publish a New York Times best selling book, make a hit movie seen by millions, speak before a crowd of 100,000 adoring fans, and it is probably too late to get our names recorded as one of God’s “faithful servants” in Hebrews 11. There are 6 Billion people in the world, and if you’re lucky 200 of them know you by name. In the next couple generations, even our families will most likely forget about us.

Can you give me the name of your great great uncle on your mother’s side?

Yeah… just what I thought.

Fact is, by most of the standards used in our modern society, you and I are destined to live a life of insignificance. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but don’t tune me out just yet. Have you ever thought that just maybe God did not make you or me for fame? Maybe we were not created to have our picture all over the big screen or streets named after us. Who are the people that made the biggest difference in your life? As I look back on my own life and picture the people who made the most impact, none of them are famous.

I am convinced that real meaning comes out of the relationships we maintain on a day-to-day basis. Purpose, value, and impact are determined by the people with whom we share our hearts and hands. A person can have great fame and wealth, but rarely does that translate into having a real importance. Have you done something today that will change a life? Have you given yourself to help another person?

The more I think about it, being insignificant is the best way to make a real difference. God made us to be something more than significant; we were created for insignificance!

This post is featured in my book, “More Than Cake” as one of the 52 team devotionals that take on issues of church, culture, and theology in a way that will engage your team in a full-orbed discussion of missional community. Get copies today for every member of your team!

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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