Today is the 200th day of the year.
Something very significant happened on the 200th day of the year 64. Not 1964 or even 1864. But 64. That makes it 1,956 years ago.
The city was Rome. A fire broke out just south of the legendary Palatine Hill, which is just a short walk from the Coliseum. I know this because Nona and I made this walk back in 2014. The fire raged for three days and destroyed much of the city. The emperor at the time was Nero and an unsubstantiated legend has it that he played his fiddle while the fire ravaged the city. We know that this legend is NOT true. But what we do know IS true is that he placed the blame for the fire squarely on the shoulders of Christians to clamp down on their growing influence. He arrested, tortured and executed hundreds of believers on the pretext that they had something to do with the fire. Which they did not!
Nero has been described as a “megalomaniacal, murderous tyrant.” He had an obsession with being known as a great ruler which turned into a delusion which fueled many of the atrocities he committed. He was put into a position where he indeed could have built a great and long lasting legacy but instead he will forever be remembered as one of the worst people to ever live.
I give you this brief snapshot of Nero to tell you this: We all have within us a desire for greatness. But greatness will not be found by being self-serving but rather by serving God and others. Jesus put it this way when talking to his disciples, “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)
Today would be a great day to look for a way to serve someone. It will be one of the first steps you can take to greatness.
On another note about the 200th day of the year. Back on the 100th day of this year I mentioned that I had a goal to do 100 pushups everyday of the year. So far so good. So the next time you see me lets have a pushup challenge and see if this old man can still out pushup you.
Never forget that you are very loved!