The Second Mile

by Jermaine

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him two.

Matthew 5:41

I once had a position with a company that drove me crazy. It seemed everybody there found a way to get out of working on a regular basis. This wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if I wasn’t the lowest person on the totem pole, but I was. Thus, all the stuff that nobody else wanted to do ended up on my desk. At first I thought, “It’s cool. This will pass.” But weeks went by. Months went by. A YEAR WENT BY and I was still doing all the work.

After a year I had developed an ongoing conversation with myself. While I was doing everybody else’s work I was debating myself. One side argued that I should just be happy that I was lucky enough to be gainfully employed. The pay wasn’t that bad. The hours weren’t that long. The boss wasn’t even that mean.

The other side of me was boiling! How in the world am I working, and working, and working while I watched other people sitting around and doing nothing. I literally watched them take two hour lunches on the clock, come back and talk on the phone, and then leave early… EARLY!

It was just the principle that I knew I was doing work originally outlined for other people that had me at the end of my rope.

By now you should be asking yourself, how did you make it there another year?

When I signed up for this job the director told me the vision of the place. It was pretty heavy. He had huge goals for a noble cause and I was instantly sold. I felt like doing the job was making a difference. He compelled me to help him move forward with something great. (Too bad he didn’t have the same impact on the rest of the staff).

At the end of the day I know I stayed in this position a lot longer than I promised. When I finally left it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It wasn’t until a year and a half later when someone new from the company called me and asked me for tips. It seems the boss who I went the extra mile to help had spent a lot of time telling other people about it. He also was willing to tell all the companies I interviewed with. To this day he is still my number one person for a professional referral.


For all the unjust and unfair situations that may arise in your life there rarely seems to be a purpose. Yet, sometimes the opportunity for character to be forged is waiting right there where anyone logical would have quit. Endurance is not just about doing what is easy and what’s right. Endurance sometimes goes beyond what’s right and drifts into doing what’s needed. Why? Because, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. Maybe this is something you’ll experience at a job like I did. Maybe this is something you’ll experience in your family or in a relationship or in a social club. Wherever you experience it know that the ability to endure and press forward can make all the difference in how you are remembered. It is not what other’s do but what you do in response that will lump you together -or- set you apart.

So the next time you want to quit (and have a good reason) go the second mile.