As a family, we recently read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boon. She was without a doubt a great person who did great things. What struck me about her life was that she did not set out to do anything great. Her greatness was achieved one small step at a time, with no grand design on her part. She just did the next right thing, without giving thought to where these steps would lead. One of the first Jews she helped save was a man she and her father had met years earlier, when he was walking his dog. Being naturally friendly, they smiled and commented on his dog, and a friendship was begun. Later, when the Germans invaded and started arresting Jews, their friend came to them for help, which they of course provided. After that, the word spread that the ten Boons were a family who would help, and countless Jews came to them for help. But they did not wake up one morning and say, "Let's save the Jews." They just did what they could for one person, and then did the same for the next person, and the next. This naturally followed from the way they had always lived their lives, heeding Jesus' call to do whatever we can for the "least of these". If World War II had never happened, we would never have heard of Corrie ten Boon, but she would have still been a great person, doing each day what God asked of her.
Despite what Shakespeare said, none of us has greatness thrust upon us. It is achieved one small step at a time, doing whatever it is God has put in front of us to do. And as Jesus promised, when we are faithful with the small things, He will give us great things to do. Our job is to do the small things with love and faith, knowing that these are the great things in His sight.