Yesterday, one of our neighbors was complaining that another neighbor had gone away and not arranged for someone to cut her lawn. He was threatening to call the city. After he went back to his house, my husband took our lawn mower and mowed the long grass in the other person’s yard. He also trimmed the boulevard in front of her house. A bit later, a pleasant young man came by looking for yard work to do. My husband suggested he come back when this other neighbor is home because she has a bad back and is looking for someone to take care of her yard.
When my husband told me about the complaining, and what he had done, I said it likely took less energy to cut the grass than it did to grumble about it. This morning, God reminded me that He rewards even small favors.
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)
The reading said that most of us are in danger of looking too far for opportunities of doing good. I’ve thought like that, sometimes wanting to do a big thing for God. It has taken me a few years to learn that He is pleased with all acts of obedience.
Not only that, He does not measure them the way we do. We look for that which impresses others (the complaining neighbor was not impressed), meaning obedience to God isn’t as important as personal glory or winning the approval of others.
Besides, as today’s reading also says, we can be “reaching for rhododendrons and trample down the daisies.” That is, in wanting glory for myself, I can miss the ordinary needs of people around me. In making chocolate chip cookies for the famous football coach across the street, I can forget that the kids next door might also like a batch.
Lord, today promises to be another busy day of downsizing and trying to get everything checked off my to-do list. In the process, keep me alert to those who might need something as simple as a hug or a cup of cold water in Your name. In grace, grant me the grace to be a blessing to others.