I received an email this week from a B4T worker who writes.  I am a bit discouraged.  My partner in the business (they are just getting started) quit today.  He says doing business is just too hard.  He prefers to use the traditional approach despite its drawbacks.  This B4T worker then asks, Why is doing business so hard?

His question reminded me of what Jesus says about work… And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Why is it so difficult to go the second mile? Perhaps because it’s lonely. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland. Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does.  Most people who go there think, “Wait… no one else is here… why am I doing this?” and leave, never to return.

Why is it so difficult to go the second mile? Perhaps because, yes, it really is so hard.  Physically it is wearing on our bodies.  Mentality it is boring. Socially it robs us of precious time.

Yet going the second mile is what we are told we should do.  Perhaps because Jesus knows that in going the extra mile we will discover a place filled with opportunities.

Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don’t wait to be asked; offer. Listen to the co-worker spill out his sob story beyond your limit of patience. Visit your local friend in the hospital a second time, no, a third. Don’t just tell employees what to do – show them what to do and work alongside them.  When you arrive home and give your wife the night off, feed, bathe and put the kids to bed.

Take responsibility. Be involved.  Raise your hand.  Seek to listen and not be heard.  Give, don’t get.  Serve expecting nothing in return.  That’s the second mile.

In speaking about journeys Jesus also has this to say, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Yes, we are to count the cost.  And in counting the cost remember, if Jesus is our goal; we are not going to honor Him and we are not going to meet with Him if we choose the shorter, wider, easier path.  Jesus also tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

If you want to experience Jesus, if you want to meet Him face to face, it won’t be in the first mile, but the second.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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