Go the Second Mile in Joy!
Yesterday, before I left the house in the morning, I asked my daughter to do two things. Clean her bathroom and go through her things in her old room. When I came home at lunch time, I was surprised that my kitchen was really clean. Then I noticed the downstairs had been vacuumed. I was pleasantly surprised. I went upstairs to find that she had cleaned not only her bathroom, but mine as well, including the dirty clothes my husband and I had for some reason left in our floor that morning. Then I noticed that my bedroom had been vacuumed and other chores were done too. If you are thinking, “What’s the big deal?” I want you to know, all though my adult children will do what is asked of them and occasionally will go above that, they rarely go above and beyond. I was so blessed. My daughter went above and beyond just because she could. Maybe it’s because she’s really training herself to be an honorable person from all the teaching in our ministry school. I don’t know, but I loved it.
This morning though, I felt like the Lord began to speak to me through this. Right in the middle of making my bed and I heard the scripture from Matthew 5:41, “And whoever compels you to go one mile with him, go two.” I finally got it! This is what it looks like. My daughter chose to do far more than she was asked to. She never mentioned that she was going to do more and didn’t point out to us any of her work to be sure we noticed how much she had done for us. We discovered the blessings as we moved from room to room. She didn’t come back to us asking for anything in return; no money, no favor, no praise.
Whenever I read Matthew 5:41 in the past, I have to confess, I read it from the perspective of a suffering saint something like this, “If I am asked to do this one thing that I really don’t want to do, then I must push myself through to do even more, no matter how much I dislike it.” I didn’t know my thinking was wrong until today. Maybe if I had spent time on the verse I would have discovered it. Now I understand though, that to go the second mile is not about what I do as much as it is about the way I do it. I want to go the first mile with a cheerful willing heart because God loves a cheerful giver. The cool thing is that He has loved me so amazingly and mercifully even when I wasn’t cheerful about giving my time or efforts to something. I want to learn to go the first mile cheerfully so that the second mile will be a blessing and not a chore.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Now when I go, whether it’s the first mile or the second, I will go in joy. I will go with the flow of love from the heart of God. If everything I do flows from a love relationship with Abba Father, then the second mile, really every mile, will come with great joy in serving.
Lord, help us to give, not to be seen, acknowledged, or praised, but because You have given us so much that an overflow of giving flows from us. Let our hearts and minds and actions line up with Yours!