I was sitting in the living room of the missions base where I live when I saw three leaves on the hardwood floor. As I pushed them into a pile, I noticed that the leaves were three different colors: green, gold, and brown.

I quickly made the connection that the green leaf had fallen from the tree right before its change of color, the gold leaf had fallen from the tree at its peak of color, and the brown leaf had fallen from the tree after it peaked.

My mind was beginning to ponder the topic of the rise and fall of celebrity status, primarily due to the recent #AlexFromTarget craziness sweeping across Twitter in the States. Sure, you can become famous overnight—apparently for doing absolutely nothing—but how long does that really last? Like the leaves, you never really know when you’re going to fall from the tree that held you high above the crowds.

That’s the thing about pursuing fame—you can fall right as you’re beginning to “arrive”; you can fall at your peak of beauty, right when it seemed like things could only get better. Regardless, we all fall at some point. Fame doesn’t last forever.

But do you know what does? Greatness.

People who pursue fame are often simply looking to be known. But people who pursue greatness know that life is more about who you are on the inside than the attention that is on you. People who pursue greatness seek to make their world a better place—one life at a time. They aren’t looking for the spotlight, and they don’t change if the spotlight happens to shine their way. They are who they are for the sake of others, not to make themselves known. Their highest aim is to pursue a greatness that carries from one generation to another, rather than the fame that’s here today and gone tomorrow.

Jared Stump
Jared Stump is a twenty-something freelance writer who is passionate about the Kingdom of God, the local church, and helping people discover who they were created and redeemed to be. He is a part-time writer, editor, and consultant, and a full-time child of the King. Jared lives on the road, and occasionally in Pennsylvania.