Isn’t it great when someone says you made a difference no matter how small or large?

Affordable housing was the topic on my radio show a couple weeks ago. I had the opportunity to speak with two Realtors whose initiatives resulted in four families buying homes when they never thought it possible. I congratulated them saying, “you all can always look back and be thankful knowing your efforts has and will In the future, help others experience homeownership.” It reminded me that our individual decisions to go out and serve can and will make the world a better place. I saw a powerful video about Rick Rescorla that illustrated this very point. Very few know his name but his one act cost him his life but saved the lives of 2700 fellow employees. As I wrote last week, he exemplifies choosing not to retreat but to strive forward on behalf of others.

Two scripture passages jump out at me when thinking about how knowing we have made a difference in the world allows us to be thankful. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” 2 Corinthians 9:11,12 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

The ultimate verse though is Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” The greatest motivation to do good works is not so that we can be applauded or told how much someone appreciates you. It is that God exhibited the greatest act of love by allowing His son to die for us and therefore when we got out to serve others, It is like we are serving Jesus himself.

I read a book years ago with the title, The Five People You Meet In Heaven  by Mitch Albom. It follows the life and death of a man named Eddie who is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. Thinking about it reminds me of the opportunity each of us has to create positive or negative ripples out into the world. I think we would all agree, like Eddie in the book, we would rather have people smiling when they say to you “I remember when you…….” I bet the almost 2700 people who survived the tower collapse on 9/11 remember what Rick Rescorla did for them.

“Ever present Father, You are active in everything and everyone and every moment, moving the world toward the full manifestation of your loving reign. Help us to love ourselves wholly up to you; to be instruments of your will in this and every moment” Gregory Boyd

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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 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 You can email me at [email protected]