Love Goes that Extra Mile
…apart from Me, (without Me), you can do nothing (of eternal value). John 15:5
It rings in my ears every time I hear the phrase, “go the extra mile”. Rings, resonates, whatever it is, this very subtle inner awareness continues until I take notice.
This morning my thoughts began to culminate, over the past few months, every time I’d heard the phrase “go the extra mile”. At the same time, I became aware of my disgust over waste. I tried to push the thought out of my mind several times thinking to myself, “it’s good that I don’t like waste,” but the word “waste” kept bugging me. I finally just had to write “waste” on a piece of paper just to get it out of my head. It wasn’t long before I’d written a list of all the things I thought were being wasted; time, money, food, gas, electricity, etc…I began to realize something was wrong with my perception, my concern with waste was keeping me from going the extra mile!
There is not any teaching of Jesus saying “waste not want not.” By contrast He lived and taught by literally laying down everything man thinks is important. His rights, His comfort, everything, even His life. He gave up everything and never mentioned anything about waste. 1 John 3:15-17
So I had to ask myself, what is waste and why did the silliest little things bother me so much? I believed I was being wise, but the Truth says Philippians 3:7-9 “it’s all loss”, or waste.
I thought I was a generous person when I chose to be, like whenever I felt I had enough to give. If I pretended waste didn’t bother me I would only be stuffing my feelings and still grumbling on the inside. So the inner struggle continued as I argued with myself over hypothetical scenarios.
Even our bodies tell us that we can’t stuff negative feelings and just pretend like they aren’t there. Eventually it shows up somewhere as knots of stress and/or disease.
Philippians 2 kept repeating through my mind as I worked through an onslaught of adversity. Jesus chose to be humble, to make Himself nothing, with the nature of a servant He was obedient even to die on a cross because He considered us more significant than Himself.
I pondered it over and over until I realized everything I’d been concerned with was “temporary.” “Going the extra mile” matters! That’s what is “lasting,” giving like I believe God has an abundant supply of everything eternal.
In the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14, the obvious lesson for me was being a good steward of what God’s given me. Spiritually thinking though, I see only the value of what the servants did to increase their Masters property. The servant who became a steward of one talent buried it, he did nothing with it to prosper his Master’s property. The other two doubled theirs and were asked to share in their Master’s inheritance. Jesus was describing the Kingdom of heaven here, not money and not earthly property.
The confusion I had about being a good steward of temporary things had kept me from going the extra mile. When this short vapor of my life is complete and I am standing before my loving Creator, the only thing that will matter is what’s left after the the wood, hay and stubble are burned away.
1 Corinthians 3:11 -14 No one can lay any foundation except the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
Actually, everything we see is temporary, wood, hay and straw, only what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Next time I feel the need to be a penny pincher or feel frugal about wasting anything that’s temporary, I will put it in perspective. It’s all wood and hay and stubble, the only value it has in our temporary life is when it’s used for something that has eternal value.
There is nothing lasting in this life that is seen, only what is unseen has eternal value. It is now my greatest joy to “go the extra mile.”
I will go the extra mile to bring a smile to someones heart,
I will go the extra mile even when we’re far apart.
I will go the extra mile with an overflowing joy.
I will go the extra mile where no money can employ.
I will go the extra mile to shine a light for someone lost.
I will go the extra mile never counting any cost.