I grabbed a seldom used older Bible off my book shelf yesterday to get a different perspective on the section of scripture I was teaching. I discovered several markings and notes in this collection and become quickly distracted from my original task as I flipped pages noting things of importance and discovery from a younger version of me. Some of the markings I actually recalled, others where new again. Several of them were verses or sections that I still go to often, embossed on my brain from years of meditation. Then there were passages like this one, that you know, but seem to drift out of your consciousness as time passes.
41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41 (NASB)
This particular sentence, spoken by the Christ as he encouraged his listeners to turn the other cheek when they meet head on with injustice has so many connotations. It seems to be a call for persistence, a call to be exemplary, and a call to stand out from the crowd all in one. It seems it could be taken slightly out of context and used as a rallying cry to overcome obstacles set in front of you. As of course, as I runner, I can draw all sorts of meaning and application from it. But in the end, it’s just a practical example of how those that follow the Christ should behave – naturally giving more, willingly giving more than asked – especially in the face of injustice and self-sacrifice.
What a simple statement, but what a great challenge it presents. I think I can see why I would underline it in my text. When mastery comes, so does all sorts of life change.
How about you, how’s that second mile looking?