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The extra mile

Recently I was asked, “𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐞?”
A scripture from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:41 came readily to mind… “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
Back in the times of Jesus, a Roman soldier could compel a Jewish male to carry their hefty packs, armour or weapons for one mile (it was the law after all).
I am certain that back then the paths would be sweltering, dirty, difficult to travel and many (if not all) of the Jews must have detested carrying the items.
But then Jesus taught them to “go with him twain.” …meaning to carry the soldier’s packs for two miles.
What does that mean for us today?
In this verse of scripture, Jesus was teaching us one way that we can love and serve others.
We don’t carry Roman packs anymore, but the principle applies to every area of our lives today.
When we go the first mile, we are only really doing what is expected of us.
But when we go the second mile, we are giving freely of our time and service to others.

Here is a little personal story.

Shortly after arriving in the Netherlands, one experience taught me a lot about going the extra mile.
Due to corona, the number of missionaries we had serving was at approximately 20% of our complement.
All of the missionaries were swamped with things to do.
I recall a missionary called me one day and asked “President, you know that we are very busy. Can we get up one hour earlier every day, so we can get everything done?”
My heart melted.
I must admit to shedding a tear or two.
I replied, “Of course but remember to be careful and take time to rest.”
The first mile is often required of us, in many things that we do.
The second mile however, is only made possible by being obedient to the first mile.
You cannot go the second mile without influencing others.
It only takes one second miler to impact others lives.
I shall ever be indebted to Daniel Andrade for the lesson he taught me that day. Thank you.
James E. Faust said “Some of the most rewarding times of our lives are those ‘extra miles’ hours given in the service when the body say it wants to relax but our better self emerges and says, ‘Here am I, send me.’”
How can you apply this principle and go the second mile today?