I have a 30 mile commute to work…one way.
I’ll admit…once I am on my way home, I hate to make stops. I don’t want to go to the grocery store. I don’t want to run an errand. I just want to drive straight home.
I’m kinda like that about a lot of things. How can I get this particular task “over with” in the least amount of time possible?
30 minute meals? Yes and thank you Rachael Ray. An hour’s worth of results in just a 25 minute workout? Uh…yes please!
If it’s all about the results, then I’m good.
But then you come across people that challenge you to maximize the process too.
If Angela had just said “Hi”, gave us some info about the church and handed over our free t-shirts, she would have done her job. If she was pleasant while she did it, we would have considered it a nice experience, said “Thank you” and been on our way.
But that was not our experience. We weren’t just 2 random people among the many random people who visit her church every week. She didn’t just give us a memorized script, she genuinely welcomed us. She did more than ask questions, she engaged us in conversation. Instead of just saying good-bye and “Hope to see you again”, she prayed for us and our travels back home.
I’m not a hugger but I couldn’t help but reach out for a hug and take a moment to grab a quick selfie too.
Why would I have such a strong reaction to her…a stranger…a woman whom I had just met?
Because she went the extra mile.
When Paul concludes a teaching on spiritual gifts, he phrases it like this “…if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6)
This scripture challenges us to take what we do to another level. Don’t just give – give a lot! When people follow you, be diligent in your role. Have a smile on your face when you are extending kindness to someone who may not deserve it.
Our Savior was like that too. Zacchaeus was hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesus, instead he ended up with lunch plans. The Samaritan woman went to get water from the well and came back with the assurance that she would never thirst again. The thief on the cross just wanted to be remembered but he received a welcome into paradise.
Our encounters with people can be efficient or they can be an experience. (Of course, the Type A girl in me wants them to be both so I obviously am still a work in progress on this).
When I walked away from Angela, I told my husband that I wanted to volunteer for the hospitality team at my own church.
That’s what 5 minutes with her did to me.
What happens when people walk away from us? Will their lives be just be taken care of or actually impacted? Will they recognize we completed our task or that we considered their need first? Will they walk away and not think twice about it or will they want to know a little bit more about the God we serve?
Someone’s time with me could lead to a life lived for Jesus? Yes, please.