Have you ever gone beyond and above the normal? I talked once about what is normal for some might not be normal for someone else. Going beyond the norm or above and beyond what is expected is intriguing to me. There are still people who go above and beyond what is expected by pushing the boundaries. There are always the ones who deliver more than expected. If we truly want to be the best in our lives, we should not accept being the best as an endpoint, but a starting point. Through innovation, we should take something that works well and improve upon it in unexpected ways and be willing to come out of traditional viewpoints or actions.
Today was a very busy day for our church. We planned several months ago to host a car show on the riverfront and today was the big day. With the temperatures reaching over 90 degrees and the heat index over 100, not only were we sunburned but exhausted at the end of the day. Nevertheless, there are those who endured the mental or physical fatigue and pushed beyond their boundaries or limitations on what they thought we could do not only as individuals but also as a unity team. As a few of us picked up trash, yes, even the cigarette butts, we chatted about the integrity and character it says about a person when they do more than expect. My daddy always taught me to leave a place cleaner than what you found it in. What I saw in people today was more than even I expected. Not much income was generated from the event but it was enough. Enough to see where we can feed several more children each month for Mercy 29. Enough to bring a church together to work and help the community by providing family fun, entertainment and food. Enough to see the smile on the faces of those who won a trophy. Enough to see the children with their hot sweaty hair ride the small train over and over again. Enough to see our church members reaching out to those who are lost and need an example of joyous giving. Yes, it was enough; it brings me great joy to see how people are changing and going beyond the normal. I am thankful.
I think in some ways we sometimes try give far more than expected and when I do, not so much for the benefits I’ll get down the line but more for the immediate joy I get from the happiness I receive by helping others. So many people miss out of the joy of giving. You can always tell when people go beyond expectancy. If you are not innovating and thinking outside of the box, if you are just going with the flow and playing it safe, you are limiting yourself not only in joy but also making a difference in the lives of others. By giving people something they were not expecting to get you immediately have their attention. Going the extra mile means thinking of others. It is giving more than what people expect you to do in any circumstances. With some pre-planning, you can take the burden off someone else, or at the very least, show others that you are considerate. It truly is the little things that will make someone’s day. Don’t strive for getting by with the minimum, because some day you will need someone to go that extra mile for you. By consistently giving just a little bit more than is expected of you, you will continually build yourself up by being the example of Christian living. I can truly say my church family set the example today of going above and beyond what is expected even in the midst of the heat. I praise you all!
Prayer: Father I thank you for great friends and church brothers and sisters in Christ who are not afraid to go above and beyond. I pray that all of us will continue to be a servant for your kingdom and continue to bring your glory to earth in example and in love. In Jesus name. Amen.
2 Corinthians 8:5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary: By ascribing all really good works to the grace of God, we not only give the glory to him whose due it is, but also show men where their strength is. Abundant spiritual joy enlarges men’s hearts in the work and labor of love. How different this from the conduct of those who will not join in any good work, unless urged into it!