In the beginning…you know it’s a long story when it begins with “in the beginning.” No offense bible. My nickname in high school was the great one and like all good nicknames it has a story behind it. This is a true story only the facts have been changed.
It all started the first day of my junior year in high school. It was also the very first class I had that day. The teacher was Mrs. Nevil. They called her Nevil the devil for how strict she could be. It’s one of those moments you will never forget. Right up there with that time at church camp where you were pulling pranks, but it went too far. Someone had the bright idea to draw on the annoying kid who was sleeping……and they used permanent marker because kids are mean ……and he happened to wake up while it was your turn to draw on his face. Yeah it’s right up there with that. You will never forget it. While we are on it. God, why do I always get caught? Oh yeah you hold me to a higher standard. Lucky me.
Anyway things were going great. She was very welcoming and super friendly. I was thinking what were they talking about she’s not mean at all. She was super nice. She was introducing herself and taking role call and then she made a fatal mistake. Of course it wasn’t my fault I’m the hero of the story after all.
She made the mistake of asking the class if she had mispronounced anyone’s name or if they preferred to be called something else. I looked around. Everyone was happy and smiling. The teacher was smiling. It was the moment to be a clever and funny guy.So I raised my hand. “Yes, Kevin.” With a smirk I said,”I would like to be called the great one.”
Then it happened. Oh she changed. Her smile was instantly gone. She grew like 2ft taller. Her eyes might have turned red. You know in the cartoons where steam comes out of the person’s head who is extremely angry. Think literal steam. Its that moment when your inner voice says,”Ooooh No.” Everyone stopped talking. Then she got very serious and loudly replied,”Your going to have to earn that right in my classroom, son.”
Daaaang! I remember in this moment turning to look at my friend Chris who was sitting in the next row over. His eyes must have been as big as mine. And then he started laughing. The whole class started laughing.
I on the other hand did not start laughing because my life was still in mortal danger. By the grace of all mighty Jesus I survived that class, but by the time I made it to second period someone had already told that teacher what happened. This was going to be an embarassment! That teacher smiled upon hearing the tell and said,”well hello the great one.” And the nickname stuck.
The most fun had been winning people over to calling me that. There would just be a moment when they would turn to me and say…you really are the great one. I didn’t let it go to my head, but maybe a little. I mean I was high school. In the halls my friends would say “hey great one!” or “what’s up greatness.” It was so bad sometimes I wouldn’t turn if someone just said my name, “Hey Kevin.” Must be talking to some other guy.
There are times when you just need a particular person to show up. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe your watching your team play and they haven’t put the all star in the game, but you know that would be all the difference. Or maybe you have this go to person at work that can always help you find the answer. Its like just because they are there you know it’s going to work out. Probably like your lawyer showing up after you woke up drunk in jaiI. Well hopefully it’s not that bad. God has given me the ability to be that guy on a few occasions. Sometimes that’s how He gives favor.
Let me give you my number one tip for being great. Welcome to Greatness university. No I don’t care if I mispronouce your name. Here it is:
You can pray for favor.
I know crazy right. Often it’s unmerrited favor. Did I really earn the nickname? I mean it was a little scary…remember literal steam coming from her head. But really I earned it as I went along. You would be surprised what you can have if you would just as for it. Why not ask? The worst that could happen is He says no….but the best. Well, we can’t even imagine the best possible outcome.
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.”
Ps 90:17 NASB