Go The Extra Mile

Monday, February 21, 2022
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Matthew 5:39-41 – But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (NKJV)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the meaning of the common expression, "go the extra mile" as "do more than one is required to do." This phrase is based on the teachings of Jesus in today's text. Our world is so much better when we follow the teachings of Jesus!

In January 2022, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, experienced its largest snowfall since the January Blizzard of 1999 immobilized the city. In less than 24 hours, so much snow fell that the streets were impassable and even the main highways had to be closed. The television screens showed many different incidents of the recent storm, but one has remained with me.

A refuse truck was trying to get down a street where only a single lane had been plowed and the snow banks were very high. The driver experienced difficulty in reaching the garbage bins and getting them over the snow to his truck. He then arrived at some houses where the residents had cleared a path through the high banks so that the garbage pails could be pulled through. He commented to the television interviewer, "They really helped me out."

Those residents didn't have to make the effort to make that pathway, but they certainly did "go the extra mile".

During the same time, our residence, like many businesses, experienced staff shortages. I was encouraged as I recalled three such instances where staff went the extra mile.

The concierge at our front desk constantly answers calls from outsiders or residents. However, with missing servers, Heli, on more than one occasion, brought her telephones with her and helped serve in the dining room.

During the height of the Omicron shutdown, meals had to be brought to our suites. On the first such day, the porridge was all gone before the servers reached my suite. I was disappointed, but before long, there was a tap on my door. Katrina had gone the extra mile to find a serving and bring it to me.

The third example occurred when I was surprised to see Tim, our Maintenance Manager, helping the servers delivering our evening meals. I jokingly commented to our Dining Room Manager about the quality of his newest employee. Patrick responded that if I was surprised at Tim helping him, I should go to another floor and see Matt, our General Manager, serving meals. Every available person was helping out and going the extra mile.

As I thought about each of these examples, I realized that they were all simple things being done in a helpful way, but totally consistent with the teachings of Jesus about how we should live.

You and I are not required to do major things, but we are expected to follow the simple teachings of Jesus set out so clearly today's text.

What a better world this would be!

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to learn from the simple teachings set out for us. Help us to go the extra mile. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Vincent. Yes , will try. Amen.

    Beautiful story, Vince. Have a blessed day.

    Inspiring to hear and a good reminder to us all, thanks Vincent!

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this encouraging devotional reminder with us. Blessings.

    Always speaks to me and helps me, your stuff, Vincent! Thank you for sharing your inspiration.

    Wonderful timely message Vincent. Thank you for sharing this.

    Thank you, Vincent, your devotion shows how people do help in trying times, so encouraging to see the goodness in the world. Blessings.

    So nice to read stories about people who go the extra mile rather than all the negative things we see on TV. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy your devotionals.

    Good afternoon, Vincent,
    Thank you so much for continuing to remind us of the importance of little acts of kindness. Your words are so encouraging!

    Dear Vincent,
    I love to see people at work during an emergency or a disaster. I think that we are all our most helpful in the ways of Jesus, during those times. Thank you for your devotional.

    Hi Vince,
    Thanks again for the wonderful Devotional. It was good to hear how staff at your residence kept going the extra mile. Thanks for jogging my mind to go the extra mile more often.

    Dear Mr. Walter
    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your devotionals. I thought I detected a Salvation Army connection in a couple of your previous devotional writings. As a former CSM one has a collection of Army experiences.
    I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your contributions.

    Good morning, Vincent. Thank you for your message today.
    You always have an uplifting devotional and today’s is no exception. If we all made it our purpose to help others in similar ways what an amazing world we would have.
    One gesture at a time we can, at least, make someone’s day better.
    Thank you again.

    Mr. Walter: I have witnessed the same “pitch in” attitude here at our retirement home — food servers wrestling loaded food caddies manually upstairs to the second and third floors during a power blackout; PSAs (Personal Support Workers) serving in the dining room when a storm prevented young teenage serving staff from coming in, etc. May our merciful Father bless and keep them safe and healthy, all of them. Amen.

    Good morning, Vince,
    Every devotional that you write for us to enjoy and learn, is because you are willing to “go the extra mile”. Thank you.
    It is great to hear about people who care and do make the effort to make sure everything is taken care of. It is always uplifting to hear positive stories. Thank you.
    Wishing you a day full of ideas for other devotionals and for receiving and giving many acts of kindness. Blessings.

    Dear Vincent,
    Thank you for this devotional! I recently applied for a job as volunteer coordinator for our local hospice. I’ve been excited about this prospect, yet nervous. I love the stories you told today, they are examples of why I want to work in such a caring community. If this is the right path for me, I have faith that God will open the door so I may walk through.
    Thank you again for your inspiration!

    Dear Vincent:
    I enjoy the devotionals that you write, but I could really relate to today’s. I live in a Retirement Home. We were also in what they called “breakout” for a time. I have seen the General Manager, our Business Manager, our Wellness Manager, and other managers help serve meals when there was a staff shortage. It seems that finding good servers for the Dining Room is difficult as we have a large turnover. Some are better than others.
    This morning at breakfast there were just 2 servers instead of 3, but we all got served.
    The staff call us by name and do care for us, for which I am thankful.
    May the Lord continue to bless you and make you a blessing.

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