The Extra Mile
Man’s pursuit of God often leads to divergent paths. Some choose to climb the Himalayas, some choose to sit and meditate for hours, while some even choose psychedelics to force themselves into the kingdom of God. But when seeking the master, there is one sure fire way to find him. You may not be able to find him on Mount Everest, or after many days of fasting, but as all of our elated hearts have witnessed, we have always been able to find God when we have gone the extra mile.
We all strive to be good and meet the expectations of the people who love us. However, the stress of meeting our responsibilities as friends, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, students, and teachers often overwhelms us. When the master was on the Earth, he said that loving our friends in actuality was a reasonable service, that indeed it ought not take a second thought. He said even scoundrels love their friends. So if we are seeking Jesus only in what is expected of us, we may be missing him. Truly the essence of the kingdom of God is in its ability to surpass all that the kingdom of man could fathom. For example:
When Paul was in prison, instead of bemoaning his plight, he converted his captors and brought them to salvation.
Joseph, when given an opportunity to get even with his brothers who had sold him to slavery, not only forgave them, but gave them shelter and assurance of safety.
When Stephen found himself in the midst of persecutors, being ushered into the doorstep of death, he looked unto God and asked for the forgiveness of his enemies.
Where the world is concerned with taking care of friends, the kingdom is concerned with loving our enemies. Where the world complains about injustice, the Messiah says pray for our oppressors. Of course in saying this, we are not saying not to love those who love you. The kingdom, however, is concerned with going above the call of duty.
The master implored us not to simply put on banquets for those who are already fed, clothed, housed, and fulfilled. We are meant to go to the desolate places where the broken hearts have not yet seen the light. Where we can embrace those who are truly in need, so that in seeing the extra effort we take, they can in turn learn to do the same.
So if we are seeking Jesus, let us not stop at the bare minimum. Let us take the extra time to give an extra smile, to be good to a stranger, and to pray for a detractor. Let us befriend the lonely, bring life to the Dead, give aid to the desperate, forgive the unforgivable and pardon the unpardonable.
When we are seeking Jesus, let us not seek him in what is comfortable, but let us forge ahead beyond the first, and meet the master in the extra mile.