Coldness is not my favorite. We here in Oklahoma just enjoyed three days of sunshine, highs in the upper fifties, and wind that didn’t rip the skin off my face–and it was glorious. Until this morning, when I awoke to a fresh hell of freezing temps and a gale force wind made of ice that made me die with every breath I breathed and every step my poor frozen legs tried to take.
Outdoors in January? No freaking thank you. I’ll stick to my exercise bike and also my hot chocolate with marshmallows, cause, I’m not tryna be eighty pounds overweight but I’m here to party.
I was forced to step outside the home this weekend for a parenting conference thingy and I’m so pumped about all the information my brain absorbed but most especially this cool blip that I just have to share with you fine people:
In Matthew 5:41, Jesus says “If anyone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles.”
The whole saying about going the extra mile? That was Jesus.
And here’s what my thought has always been on that–picture if you will, myself in Jesus’s day:
Dude: “Hey Toni. I am forcing you to go a mile with me.”
Toni: “Eat crap and die.”
Dude: “Please? Miles are lonely.”
Toni: “Well, since I’m nice.”
*Toni goes on to not only causally walk one nice mile but two or maybe three because she likes to stay in shape.*
As it turns out, I don’t have a good grasp on the historical accuracy of biblical times cause I got schooled. Here’s the breakdown of the verse:
Way way back in Jerusalem, the Romans were in charge, which the Jews did not like. It was the law that if a Roman soldier told anyone to carry his pack (giant heavy suit of armor type equipment), that guy had to walk ONE whole mile with the Roman guy–carrying the pack.
So, going one mile was the torturous maximum a Jew was forced to walk with the soldier, and he probably hated it the whole way and he probably counted the steps til the mile was up–and once that mile was up, the pack was dropped like a hot potato and the Jew was all peace out cub scout.
This is the one mile existence: it’s miserable. It’s mandatory. It’s life. The job sucks. Your marriage sucks. Every minute of every day is a suckish hell from which there is no escape. You have no say, so you switch to autopilot and you put forth only the minimum amount of effort it takes to get by.
But what if you made the choice to do more?
If you have a choice, you have freedom–and that freedom puts a fun new twist on the thing you’d normally hate to do. And suddenly you might not hate to do it anymore. It’s not your obligation–it’s your decision and it becomes your pleasure.
Dude: “Toni, can I have my stuff back now?”
Toni: “You can’t tell me what to do, you don’t know me, you don’t know my life.”
Dude: “The place I had to go was like three miles back.”
Toni: “Shutup, Imma tell you bout Jesus.”
(Biblical times Toni would’ve gotten herself arrested about 2.8 seconds into the first century.)
The second mile existence: full of purpose, opportunity, and joy.
Everyday is a new day and that business is EXCITING, I tell you.
Go the second mile.
Unless it’s January in Oklahoma–then just see if you can entice your boy with some hot chocolate indoors.