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Monday mornings are especially challenging for me, because I am just coming out of a languid weekend where I could be relaxed, and my dreams and aspirations are put on hold, and where I shelter myself from the high expectations of the week ahead. I say high expectations because I expect something extraordinary to happen all the time, a miracle of some sort, an amazing act, or exciting news… In other words I expect joy to bounce toward me around every corner. I feel restless somehow and flustered with the regular procedure of things: go to work, grocery shop, pick up the kids from school, do homework, drive to tae kwon do, drop off to piano lessons, cook, clean, laundry, and then Xerox that all over again. It makes me think of Jane Austen’s words in Mansfield Park “…there is just a quick succession of busy nothings”. I love my husband and my children, and I’m grateful for our health, but what else can I do to galvanize my life?
These were the thoughts churning in my head as I was driving to work on a rainy Monday morning, but an hour into my job the answer to my question dawned on me. I work in a school cafeteria with six lovely ladies. This day we were serving nectarines as a fruit. For some reason the students went crazy over this brightly colored skin, sweet and fleshy fruit. Apparently not a lot of people know how fragrantly delicious a nectarine can be, including my dear friend and co-worker, Josi. She took one nectarine and saved it aside to taste it after work. We quickly ran out of this fruit and I saw Josi put her nectarine back as a student happily grabbed it. This may seem silly or trivial, but Josi was so excited and happy to have given “her” nectarine away that she giggled about it. I told her that God will bless her for even the smallest gesture of goodness and sacrifice. 2 Thessalonians says “Never get tired of doing good”. Galatians 6:9 says “Whenever we have the opportunity we should do good for everyone”. That means even giving away a nectarine… I know it’s not much but we should all do good wherever we find ourselves, and whomever we are with. In Josi’s case it wasn’t a gesture of grand proportion but a sacrificial goodness indeed. The main point is that it’s always better to do good than not, because Galatians 6:7 instructs us that “…we always reap what we sow”. We may show favor and kindness to someone today but God will bless us in a different way, on a different day: “Don’t get discouraged and give up for we will reap a harvest at the appropriate time” Galatians 6: 9-10. I know God will bless Josi when she least expects it for her random act of kindness.
Whenever we can we should infuse our days with doing good like let someone with less groceries in front of us, bringing in a neighbor’s garbage can, clean house for a person in need, take a meal to somebody, mow neighbor’s grass if needed, help an elderly load their groceries in the car, tell someone you are proud of them, encourage each other with kind words whether they lost weight, or went back to school, or that they are being great moms, dads, friends, wives, husbands. The list can go on. So if life gets too repetitive and mundane, and we can’t whisk off to Paris on a moment’s notice, then we should follow God’s advice in Galatians 6:10 and do good to everyone whenever we have the opportunity. We should never feel too important to help someone in need, as Galatians 6:3 points out. Our purpose is to bless one another in big ways, small ways and unexpected ways. At one time or another we all have experienced that gratifying, humbling feeling, that jolt of joy in our hearts when doing good for someone. The most wonderful thing about it is that the selfless generosity, and kindness, can in return salve our own souls with goodness and the desire to do more of it!
Word of the day: PENCHANT
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.