The year is almost 1/3 of the way over. Can you believe it? I cannot. Now that the sun is staying out longer, I feel a burst of energy rise within me. There also seems to be small amounts of clarity forming around my latest project – the one I thought wanted to sit unfinished forever.
I can’t deny it makes me a little frustrated not being able to finish it. It’s not that I don’t want to enjoy the process; I just want to speed it up! Patience is not my forté. That’s when I look for wisdom in words. To help me get through the doldrums of perseverance. And, that usually means reading some books.
This last week, I went searching for some help on perseverance and patience. I read a couple of books hoping they would inspire, but they really didn’t. I was feeling kind of bummed out, wondering how long this phase would last. That’s when the words I needed to hear were sent through a guest preacher at my church Sunday morning.
He simply repeated Jesus’ words,
“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” (Matthew 5:41, NIV)
How did that one verse help me?
First, he put it into context for me. He explained during that time the Roman soldiers would force citizens to carry their baggage as far as necessary to reach their destination – whether it was one, five or fifteen miles. This caused an uproar amongst the people, as you can imagine. So, it was necessary to pass a law that protected the ‘subordinates’ (in the pastor’s words) from over exertion. People were then only required to carry the baggage one mile, and the soldier would then have to find a new person to carry it any further.
What Jesus is saying is to have a servant’s heart, and walk with them the second mile. In that second mile, work can be accomplished. Lines of communication can open as the soldier questions your initiative. Pretty powerful, right? I thought so. That’s when the preacher continued with his sermon on how to go the extra mile in modern times.
Three Ways to Go the Extra Mile
- In our personal lives – stretching our comfort zone to improve our own life
- In our spiritual lives – by sharing our faith with others
- In our relationships – improving the lives of those around us with our love and actions
Second, it made me wonder if I’ve gone the second mile in my work. While I’m stretching myself to enter contests and commit to writing most days, am I doing only what is required and necessary; or, am I going the extra mile to get the real work accomplished? And, the answer, is, yes, then NO. I’m getting lazy. I’m waiting for an epiphany to drop from the sky and reveal the truth of the situation for my project. The ‘research’ I’m doing is really to appease myself as an attempt to put some effort in, but I’m not taking the time to meditate on the words of my project like I should.
The answer to completing my project and having the gumption to persevere is found in my willingness to go the extra mile. So, hold on tight, folks, as I put the pedal to the metal…
Until next time –