the most important spiritual principles come to us in the most
commonplace ways. The truth is, spiritual principles are at work
in our lives constantly but we don't always recognize that they are
and it is this lack of recognition or awareness that causes us to not
fully make use of them to our advantage. The Intelligence that
permeates the universe in which we live has made these principles
available to everyone ... to both saints and sinners ... kings and
paupers ... intellectuals and those with a simple mind.
In Eric Butterworth's book,
"Discover The Power Within You," we can find a perfect
illustration of how something so simple can create for us something
far greater than we may initially expect: "The admonition
to go the second mile relates to the right of the Roman soldiers in
Jesus' time to compel subject people to carry their burdens for one
mile. It was the imposition of despotism, but the subject people
could do nothing about it. Jesus indicates an uncommon-sense way
of doing something about it. They could break their bonds of
enslavement by doing what was demanded of them as if they really
enjoyed it. And that doesn't make sense does it?
A man tells of going into a
restaurant where they had a policy that if any waitress failed to give
at least one smile to a customer she was automatically discharged - if
caught. He says it was interesting to see the forced, mechanical
smiles of the waitresses, who seemed the more unpleasant because of
this imposition of the management. But one girl stood out.
She smiled like the rest but she kept on smiling - not just the one
required smirk. She seemed to enjoy smiling. She actually
beamed and radiated a contagious spirit of joy.
He talked to the waitress about
this. She said, "Well, at first I resented the order to
smile and I almost quit my job. It was no fun smiling when you
were compelled to. Then I began to realize that all the smiles
except the first one were my own, free of orders. So I always
went beyond that one forced smile to feel the reward of smiling.
And the result is I find it is an essential key to making my job an
Jesus knew that when you do what
is required of you and no more, you are a slave. This is true
whether it is meeting the whim of a demanding employer or keeping the
laws of the land. To travel the first mile brings the pay check,
the forced smile, the formal "thank you," and the humdrum
existence. It is all that is expected of anyone. But if
you want routine living to become abundant living, you must give more.
When you go the second mile - give more
to your work, are more than thoughtful and kind to people, become a
joyous giver and a gracious receiver - suddenly life takes on new
meaning. On the second mile you find happiness, true friends,
real satisfaction in life - and probably a larger paycheck, too.
Someone has said, "If you want to get ahead in your work, start
taking advantage of your employer by doing more than is asked of
"But I do all that I am paid to
do!" And that may be true. They don't pay you for the
extra joy and enthusiasm you put into your work. But then your
pay can't give you satisfaction and as sense of fulfillment either.
The person who receives only a pay check for his work is underpaid -
and this is true even if he is paid in six figures. The true
compensation of joy and fulfillment in a job begins where duty leaves
In the scriptures we can
read something stated so simply, yet so powerfully: "Each
of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not
reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
We always get back from
everything; our work, our friendships, our marriages, our health ...
the spirit in which we experience them. As within, so without.
Everything in our life is a "reflection" of our inner
spirit. No one can compel us to limit the spirit in which we
work or play. So many people write to me and tell me that they
want to do "something spiritual" with their lives - no
matter what we may be doing it is spiritual when our spirit is alive
and expressed in it. Money doesn't guarantee us the joy of an
abundant life ... only an abundant spirit of joy and love
"expressed" - can give us the realization of life more
SO IT IS!
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