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When I see examples of greatness, I ask myself, "What does that person have that I don't have, and where did they get it?" I have discovered that faithfulness plays a vital role in the lives of each of these people.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It is the willingness of individuals to keep on taking those little steps that makes them "great" while others drop out. It doesn't matter what the task is, without some measure of faithfulness it will not succeed.

What keeps us strong spiritually is often a little thing; but its power depends on us being faithful about using it. Prayer and reading the Bible are a couple such things. They will help us stay on line, if we are faithful to use them. But if we fail to use them, we will fall away.

A single scratch on a prison wall does not make an escape tunnel. But every escape tunnel must start somewhere. And if you faithfully keep scratching, it'll lead to victory over every trial that confronts you.

Jesus said that those who are faithful with little things will be faithful with great things. (Luke 16:10) Here is another clue that faithfulness is the key to greatness.

Ants can build impressive mounds. But when you take a close look at them, they look like they are running around in confusion, not doing much at all. The Bible says, "Consider the ant, you sluggard!" (Proverbs 6:6) The ants may not be efficient, but since they are faithful, they eventually get the job done. We may feel like we are getting nowhere; but, like the ants, if we keep going, we will eventually achieve something.

As the word implies, "faithfulness" means that you need to be full of faith. You must believe in (i.e. have faith in) what you are doing or you will give up when it gets hard.

People who have been locked in solitary for long periods of time have often used little tricks to keep themselves sane. It could be bouncing a ball or remembering music. It may seem like a small thing, but if they believe it will keep them sane, and they do it faithfully, it probably will work. People who give up hope (or faith) will lose their ability to be faithful. Faithfulness is the fruit of faith.

None of us can know for certain where our life's path will take us. But if we faithfully push towards love and faith and push away selfishness and fear, then, although we may stumble and take a few wrong turns, we will eventually walk through the narrow gate that leads to life.

Any great artist or inventor must put hours of faithful work into his/her creation. A painting or machine has many parts. If thought, skill, and patience goes into each piece, eventually a whole results that has great value.

Such great creations do not usually come easily. They may take years of trial and error before they are successfully completed.

A sculptor must be faithful in each of the chisel cuts that he/she makes. But it is also important to keep the overall vision of what each cut is leading toward. This higher level of faithfulness is what brings meaning to all the components of a faithful life. Without it, all our lives become boring, almost catatonic repetitions without any overriding purpose.

So there are at least two major levels of faithfulness. One is the physical level of going through the motions. The other is the spiritual level of staying true to one's beliefs.

(See also True Greatness.)

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