Monday Mitzvahs: Go the Extra Mile

ZZyxzx Rd by Slworking2 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Flickr
ZZyxzx Rd by Slworking2 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Flickr

Go the extra mile: no I’m not talking about running.  Yikes!  I’m not a runner, but if it were biking, hmmm yeah, bring it on.  Of course, I’m thinking about acts of kindness.

As you know, the phrase “go the extra mile” is from the New Testament.  Under Roman Law, soldiers could ask a Jewish citizen to carry their pack for a mile.  When you consider that the pack could weigh around 100 lbs, doesn’t your back just start to ache?  Imagine the time out of your own busy day if the mile was not in the same direction you were going.  And to add insult to injury, not only are you breaking your back, and taking time out of your schedule, but you are now asked to do extra–for an enemy.  Phew.

I don’t want to get deeply into the philosophy or theology of why Jesus asked that of his followers, but I have to smile when I imagine a Roman soldier asking someone to carry his pack and the man not only carries it for one mile, but offers to do a second.  I bet that had him scratching his scruffy chin.  If I were a Jewish person in that situation, confusing that soldier by going an extra mile  would give me some of my “power” back.  Interesting….

Today though, I’m not asking you to go the extra mile for an enemy, but for someone you love, or even for yourself.  No actual walking or 100 lb packs required.  Just take some ordinary task you do every day, and add a little something extra.

Let’s brainstorm together (here’s some of my ideas, I would love it if you share some in the comments):

–if you normally make lunch for someone, add a little note. It doesn’t have to be long or written on stationery.  Work with me here.  Grab a grocery receipt and write, “Have a great day, you deserve it!” and put it in the lunch bag.

–if you go to the store, buy a bag of M&M’s and on your way home, leave it anonymously on the doorstep of a friend.  Or knock and offer to eat them together, your choice.

–if you go to a restaurant, leave a larger tip than normal

–if you are a blog reader, read a new blog and leave a comment (bloggers love comments)

-if you drive through a fast food restaurant, tell the cashier that you are also paying for the person behind you

-on your social media, find a friend you haven’t heard from in awhile and post something beautiful on their timeline

If you are really feeling daring, you could do something nice for an “enemy”.  But that’s up to you.  Have a great Monday, by going the extra mile!

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