“Leave a place better than you found it.” Ever since I heard this piece of wisdom from author and speaker, Joe McGee, I’ve repeated it a hundred times, and my kids may roll their eyes when we’re leaving a fast food restaurant, or someone’s house, or the church, but I interpret it to mean I’m getting through to them. It’s not always fun to pick up the napkins someone else left on the floor at Dairy Queen or to wipe off the sink at church when someone else left a mess, but I remind them that opportunities will arise when you strive to do more than what is expected.
People will invest in you when you are faithful in the small things.
When my husband’s company posts a hiring ad, typically there is a small project suggestion at the bottom of the job posting. For example: create a video that tells why they’d be a good fit for the company. It’s amazing how many people send over their resume and completely ignore the project request. However, the ones who went the extra mile and created the short video have almost always received a job offer. (I actually can’t think of one who hasn’t, but that might not be the case.)
What is expected of you is the threshold—so do more.
We were not meant to blend in and get by. To be salt and light to the world, we must stand out, and to that, we need to go above and beyond. Take it from Rebekah in the Bible. When Abraham grew old, he sent his servant to go find a wife for his son Isaac. I can imagine the servant stressed out by the big task of finding a bride and convincing her to come back with him to an unknown place to marry a man she’d never met. So the servant prayed, help me be successful in this, Lord. He asked it to be a sign if a woman waters his camels then that woman was to be Isaac’s bride. So the servant sat down near the spring and along came Rebekah. He asked her for a drink, and she not only gave him a drink but watered his camels also. Now, this doesn’t sound like too big of a task until you consider that camels can drink up to fifty gallons and the servant didn’t just bring one or two camels—he had brought ten. That is a lot of water to draw from the well. Rebekah went the extra mile, and she reaped a harvest of God’s blessing in return.
It doesn’t have to be a monumental task like watering ten camels. It’s okay to start small. Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” We might not be able to do for all, but we can start with one. Bless them, sow a seed, and watch it turn into a harvest.
Go ahead, leave the world better than you found it.
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