Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Are You Washed In The Blood"1 (Lyrics)
It was time to replace my old, clunky, hard-to-open storm door. After the somewhat painful process of researching, selecting, and ordering a new door, installation day finally arrived! The installer was scheduled to arrive in the early afternoon, so a couple of hours before his expected arrival, I was enjoying a latte at my favourite coffee shop when I suddenly got a text message. The installer said that he was running early and would be arriving in 20 minutes. I got into high gear and raced home, arriving a few minutes ahead of him.
Who can complain when an appointment is early rather than late? Not only did the installer arrive early and then quickly and competently — and with a smile! — replace my storm door, but he also cleaned the glass on the new door. I had noted the dust and smears from the packaging materials and intended to clean the glass as soon as he was gone. Instead, the worker beat me to it, whipping out his bottle of Windex and quickly cleaning the smudged glass. "Thank you so much for going the extra mile," I exclaimed. "I plan to pass on my commendation to your employer." Though cleaning the glass was likely a normal step in the installation procedure, it still struck me as being extra courteous.
Today's everyday expression, "going the extra mile", is derived from a familiar passage of Scripture:
Matthew 5:41 – If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (NIV)
In the first century, a Roman soldier could legally compel any individual to carry his gear for up to one Roman mile, by force if necessary. Jesus told His followers that carrying the load farther than was required was a way of exhibiting their love for Him. We can apply this today, not by literally carrying someone else's burden for more than a mile, but by exhibiting a spirit of generosity by going over and above what is expected or even demanded of us.
As we walk about in our own sphere in this big world, are we attentive in going the extra mile in our dealings with others? There are many little niceties and courtesies that can serve as a lubricant for life's rough edges. Some acts might not be missed if they weren't done, but when they are, it makes a difference. People will note the smile or word of kindness that accompanies an ordinary action.
Going the extra mile takes forethought and attention, but it is worth the effort. Not only will it be a blessing to someone else, but it will glorify and please our Master.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You have shown us daily mercy and grace. As we live life surrounded by others, may we spread Your love and share Your kindness through our words and deeds. Amen.