Going The Extra Mile

When does customer service become an “art form”?  That’s easy.  When the one serving goes The Extra Mile.

Like today… when our cable provider surprised me.

We got back home to Florida last night.  After our two-day, almost 900-mile drive.  WHEW!  Talk about two tired puppies!  (Plus one kitty, of course).   🙂

We had been on “vacation pause” for the time we had been gone.  Keeping a “placeholder” for our service, for only a few dollars a month.  We had called in advance, to make sure cable was reinstated by yesterday.

Nothing like a good football game to soothe your aching travel muscles… right?  (At least, for the man of this house…)   🙂

Except our plan didn’t work.  Last night, after unloading only what we needed to “get by” overnight, we tried the TVs.  Nothing. Nada.  Zip.  It was way too late to troubleshoot with the provider, so we just crashed.

Today was a NEW DAY!  With, unfortunately, the same result… at least, at first.

We got one TV working… but the other?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  After tech support tried everything they could over the phone, they scheduled a technician to come tomorrow.

That’s why the call two hours later surprised me.  The provider called back.  This time, it was SUPER TECH!  Faster than the speediest high-speed Internet!  Able to devour techno-challenges in a single byte!   🙂

Our “case” had been “elevated.”  They were calling back with The Solution.

And they delivered!  They had continued to work on our problem remotely.  When they called, they asked me to do two simple things.  And VOILA!  Our service was fully restored.  Tomorrow’s tech visit was cancelled.

Up until that point, I wasn’t overly impressed with our cable provider.  But that “Extra Mile” thing totally changed my heart.

You knew it would… didn’t You, Lord?  Maybe that’s why You “invented” the Extra Mile Approach.

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”  (Matthew 5:41)

There’s a key word in what You said, Lord — “Forces.”  That means the one for whom we are traveling that first mile has power over us.  We are not on a “cake walk.”  We are under compulsion.

Back in the day when You spoke these words, the Romans occupying the Promised Land had a law.  Roman soldiers could force any Israelite of their choosing to carry their heavy gear for one mile.  To refuse meant a death sentence, on the spot.

You knew this when You spoke these words, Lord.  And You didn’t just say, “Carry the load that one mile with a smile on your face.”  You said:  “Go with them two miles.”

The Extra Mile.

Service that exceeds requirements.  Service that exceeds expectations.  Service that defies logic.  Service that begs the question:  “Why would you do such a thing… for your enemy?”

Service that would only be possible for servants who “elevated” their minds and hearts.  So they could BE The Solution to their enemy’s problem.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect…”  (1 Peter 3:15)

My cable provider was under no compulsion today.  I couldn’t fix our cable on my own, so I either had to wait for them to send help or change providers altogether.  I certainly wasn’t going to resort to violence.

But they went above and beyond anyway.  It was when they “elevated” my problem that they found The Solution.  And it affected my perception of them.  Increased my respect for them.  Nurtured my loyalty to them.

It’s good business, after all.

I wonder how many of Your people did what You commanded, Lord.  I wonder how many actually carried the heavy gear of those fearsome Roman soldiers… carrying it The Extra Mile, after they had been forced into the first mile.

I wonder how those soldiers responded.  I wonder how many of them later became Your followers, Lord.  Because that radical “Extra Mile” thing made it possible for a seed to be planted in hearts of stone that had suddenly softened.

I wonder how many similar scenarios are occurring all over the world tonight.  I wonder what opportunities might be awaiting me just around the next corner of Life.  Me and/or anyone else reading these words.

I wonder.

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward..  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”  (Colossians 3:22-24)

It’s good Kingdom business, after all.

Some “food for thought” really has to be “chewed” a lot before it can be swallowed… doesn’t it, Lord?

Feasting on the plate You have set before me,

Abba’s Girl

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