Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekend Worship—Second-Mile Living

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41

The Patriot Guard stands at attention at the funeral
of a fallen soldier.
This past week I found myself at yet another military funeral. I’ve lost track of the number I’ve attended in our community this year—a sad commentary on the world where we live. Every one I’ve attended has been incredibly moving, but the passage the chaplain chose for the funeral sermon this time has stayed with me all week.

He spoke about this soldier’s lifetime of practicing second-mile living, of going beyond what’s expected and doing what’s needed, even when that need requires great sacrifice. And although the sermon was tailored to this young man’s life, it struck me that all those who have enlisted are practicing this precept. We no longer have the draft in this country, and I’m glad. But it makes the willingness of these young men and women to serve in the armed forces even more of a sacrifice.

This mom carries a banner with 2 blue stars, signifying she
has two children in combat.
As a member of the Blue Star Mothers of America, I see first-hand what those who enlist sacrifice. Here in the states, they face low pay, poor living conditions and incredibly long hours. During combat the conditions can be horrific, not to mention dealing with the after effects, from injury to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

And I see the sacrifices of their families…the wives who cope when husbands are overseas…the mothers who become single moms to children whose fathers are in combat…the moms and dads who lie awake at night praying for their soldier children in harms way for the sake of others.

It’s made me rethink my own life. I’m looking for ways I can practice second-mile living. And I’m more determined than ever to honor those in uniform who’ve chosen a lifestyle of sacrifice.


  1. Last week, I felt so wiped out. I think that I missed an opportunity to practice second mile living. I worried and complained more about doing more than I thought I could do instead of just doing it. So, this morning, I'm going to picture all of the veterans in my life as I head out.

  2. The term "Second-Mile Living" certainly stops one in their tracks, Edie. What a beautiful mantra for this young man's life. Thank you for reminding me of those in service (and their families), especially this time of year.

  3. What a great reminder and honoring those who serve too. Second mIle living - a worthy goal for all of us!

  4. Everywhere I turn this week, people are talking about living a life of sacrifice and reaching out to others, using the passions God has given them for the sake of impacting the kingdom of God here on earth. I am looking forward to "Second-Mile Living" in 2013. I can't wait to see what God does!

  5. After watching my dad serve for 20 plus years, I'm always touched by stories like this one, and a bit teary. I'd love to live up to half their example of second-mile living. Thanks, Edie.

  6. What a wonderful post, Edie! Somehow I never applied that verse to my day-to-day life. Tomorrow, when God places opportunities in my path, I will try to respond by going the second mile.