What does it mean by going the extra mile?

It has been 6 months since I went into a self-isolating protocol due to my compromised immune system that caused Guillain Barre Syndrome. Little did I know on March 12th that the lessons learned during my GBS battle would serve me so well in dealing with the Covid19 Pandemic six months later.

Are we having fun yet? Will the effects of Covid19 ever stop being our daily focus? When will we all feel safe to gather together in larger groups? When will we not feel concerned about taking any type of public transportation or eating inside at a restaurant? These questions continue to be asked with no end in sight. As I wrestle with these, one other question came to mind that got me through my GBS ordeal.. What’s next?

I wrote about this question in one of my early blog posts http://thankfulinallthings.com/plateaus-then-and-now/ When my body started to respond to the plasmapheresis, the temptation was to start thinking about being fully recovered vs what can I do right now to be a little better tomorrow? It kept me from getting frustrated in what turned out to be a very long and slow recovery process. Can I get an Amen that Covid19 has been very long and slow in its recovery? Staying focused on the “What’s next” kept and now is keeping me in the moment which is all I can control. I have recently been reading a book called Present Perfect that echoes this mindset. It is teaching me that God is in the Now not the the past or what the future holds. The Now is all I control. Scripture teaches this with verses like “pray without ceasing” and in 1st Thessalonians, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Going the extra mile is another way of looking at focusing on what’s next. Matthew 5:41 says, “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” For me, this was so true as the PT’s forced me to push forward so my body could regain its full strength. It was literally just one step and then one more. Thankfully, the extra steps turned into miles culminating in running the community Bridges 5K last October with my dear friend Kaitlyn and other friends and family.

The anyone in Matthew 5 right now is Covid19 and the restrictions it has placed on us. Day after day and now month after month we are being asked to refrain from so much that bring us joy. It is also the racial tension that has gripped our country. Wrong is being done and people are finding it hard to “go the extra mile” in seeking to understand and look for good in their neighbor. Miles McPherson in The Third Option says, ” It is about self-sacrifice. To love and go the extra mile for someone is to want what God wants for them and be willing to be a conduit for them to receive it even if it costs us dearly” James in his letter exhorts us to “quickly listen, be slow to speak, and be slow to anger” Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 says we love others by not “insisting on our own way”.

So how do we keep striving on what’s next? Rodney Rock Hatfield, stays in the Now by using the word Focused this way. ” Faithfully Obeying Christ Using Scripture Every Day”.

Like on any journey, We just need to look back to where we started to to be reminded that we have progressed in our staying focused on what’s next. From my own experience, I can tell you it helped me not quit as I Failed forward toward the next plateau. May we all stay in the Now and may our mindset be honoring God is all that we do and/or say.

If you are new here, learn more about my dealing with GBS at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can email me at michael@mrg7175.com

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