"Still a long way to go ..."
A man is driving home with his family to Taunton. The sign made it clear, Taunton 84miles. Still a long way to go, but having driven over 100 miles already they were well on the way. He hoped the children would stay asleep in the back. Thirty miles further on another sign indicates that Taunton is now 59 miles. Another 5 miles had crept in somewhere and to cap it all one of the children had woken up and started to scream.
To go further than you expect is never easy, even if it’s only a car journey, but when Jesus spoke to the crowd in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:38-42) he had in mind something far more demanding than that. A Roman soldier had the right in law to order anyone to carry his armour and equipment one mile, no more, no less. A heavy physical load to bear, but what was worse it brought home to people their status as an occupied nation, an enslaved people.
Yet here was Jesus telling them not just to do what was required but to go far beyond it (if anyone forces you to go a mile, go also the second mile) to fall over themselves to help. That advice applied not just then but is equally valid now. Don’t just do what you have to Jesus tells us, look whenever you can to do more, to do that little bit extra, to put yourself out for the sake of others.
It is not easy advice. Most of us prefer to serve ourselves before thinking of anyone else. But way of Jesus is the way of sacrifice, of giving without counting the cost, of always being ready to go the extra mile. The challenge is, how ready are we to put ourselves out for someone else? How far is faith just talk and how far are we ready to put it into practice?
The point is this says 2 Corinthians 9:6, the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
With every blessing,