One Solitary Life
There is a poem that has been widely distributed for decades in various forms and is often referred to today as "One Solitary Life." While considering the poem again recently, I learned a little about its history. Although commonly attributed to "Anonymous," it is believed to have been written by James Allan Francis. The oldest version available is the longest and it was first shared in a sermon in Los Angeles, California in 1926. I've copied that version below for your consideration and will comment briefly afterward.
"Let us turn now to the story. A Child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until He is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He gathers a little group of friends about Him and teaches them His way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against Him. The band of followers forsakes Him. One denies Him; another betrays Him. He is turned over to His enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; He is nailed on a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend. Those are the facts of His human life.

He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask: What kind of a trail has He left across the centuries? When we try to sum up His influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life. He has changed the moral climate of the world, and He is changing it now, and will continue to do so until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. I ask you to pause a moment and think of this thing which Christians believe. We are talking about great adventures. I remind you that there must be a great adventure in faith before there can be a great adventure in action. No man has ever done a great thing until he has first believed a great thing."

I suspect most have never seen this unabridged, original version. It is longer and not as powerful in some ways as recent versions, but it nevertheless summarizes many great truths. It is indeed true that Jesus did none of the typical things associated with greatness, yet He is unquestionably the greatest to ever walk this Earth! The fact that He lacked a spouse, children, a degree, a home, physical riches, and a host of other things humans often place great emphasis upon did not hinder Him from being great! Such is still true today. Jesus was great because He was a sinless servant of the Most High God; He did not desire temporal greatness (cf. Matt. 20:27,28).

The main reason why I shared the original copy of this work as opposed to more recent revisions is because it contains an implicit call to action at the end. Some in the various kingdoms of the world will learn the gospel, believe, and obey it to be saved, and God will add them to His kingdom. However, there are many more, sadly, who will never convert to the kingdom of Christ. But, what about you? Do you believe in Jesus the Savior? Will you show your faith through your words and actions (e.g., Acts 8:37,38)? It is generally true that great things are not accomplished until great things are believed!