Monday, January 2, 2012

How Far Can One Drink Go?

Every since my boys were young, I have had this tradition of traveling early in the morning. I like driving most of the trip in the silence, darkness and solitude that getting up at 3 a.m. provides one. This Saturday morning was no exception. I got up at 2:30 a.m. to start the trek from Alabama to Nebraska with both of my young men in tow. And, like most of the other times I have made this trek, it all started with a stop at the local gas station to fill-up and grab something to drink.

At the gas station, a gentleman engaged me in a conversation as I was laughing to myself about how one block from our starting point, my boys were already sleeping and had already had one fight before they went to sleep (OK, so it was probably 3 blocks). The gentleman was particularly chatty and jovial for 2:30 a.m. And I was particularly impressed by his early morning enthusiasm. As we both headed for the door, I did what I have been taught. I opened the store and held it for him to go in first. It was a very small gesture that I would have done for almost anyone. He was impressed. As we shopped for those things that we needed to start our perspective days, I was too slow and he beat me to the checkout. Then, as I headed to the counter with my drink, I heard him say "Whatever he is getting, add it to my tab."

At that moment I was blown away by a his gesture. The fact that I had only one small item was not important. The fact that I had the money to pay for that item was irrelevant. This was a random act of kindness. This was his way of doing something nice for me. This was a day and a trip changer. So, I started asking myself about the reach of such an act. How far can one random act of niceness go?

What would happen if we each committed ourselves to one random act of kindness during the month of January? Could we make someone's journey a little better? Could that act stretch across 7 states and nine hundred miles? Could that single act influence an entire congregation and potentially an entire denomination? Would people be talking about it weeks after the act was over and "consumed?" What would happen if Matthew 25:31-40 was the way we lived? What would happen if we did what we have been called to do? What if this video was the way we all lived?

Let's find out. Go out this month and perform some random act of kindness, and then let us know (if you want) what that act was. Let us know, as generically as you want, where you showed up as the personification of the Lord you serve.

Newman, where are you?