Second Milers or Quiet Quitters

Second Milers or Quiet Quitters

When life presents challenges, different people react in different ways. Some sit down, quit, and feel defeated. Others have a determined effort to overcome adversity.

This was demonstrated vividly to me in 2022. In the latter part of last year, a huge snowstorm hit Alabama. Many roadways were impassable.

There were a couple of nurses in Huntsville, Alabama who were driving to work when their car got stuck in the snow four miles from the hospital. They had a choice to make. They could sit in the car until someone came to give them a lift or they could start walking in the snow to get to work.

Travionne Ja’Nae decided to fulfill her responsibility as a nurse. She joined some other nurses who were stranded and started walking. Some people took pictures of the nurses walking through the snow. When it was placed on Facebook, the post immediately had seven thousand reactions and over three thousand shares.

Those nurses became heroes. They made a tough choice that was an endangerment to them, but a tremendous blessing to their patients. When Travionne was asked why she did it she said, “I just had to get to my patients. I took a nursing oath for a reason. I love my career and God always favors me. I’m good y’all I promise.”

She didn’t want a raise or a bonus for going the extra mile. She just said she was doing what she would want somebody else to do for her. She didn’t have to do it—but she did it.

Contrast this with Webster’s Word of the Year for 2022 which is “quiet quitting.” (Can’t Webster count—isn’t that two words?) That phrase refers to people who are not performing the responsibilities laid out in their job description. They try to do the bare minimum and nothing more.

A Gallup poll shows that the share of actively disengaged employees has increased between 2020 and 2022 up to 18%, and the share of employees who say they were fully engaged at work has dropped to just 32%. That’s a lot of folks who are “quietly quitting.” It could get worse because Webster’s Word of the Year, Quite Quitting, recorded a 1,740% increase in searches on their site in 2022!

Which category do you fit it? Are you a person who is going to do just as little as you can and get by or will you be a person who is willing to go the second mile in your job and vocation?

Being a pastor for years, I have seen this contrast in people in the church. A lot of people who are looking for the easiest way to appear that they are engaged in ministry, but really are doing the minimum to “get by.” Fortunately, I was blessed to work with lay folks who were “second milers.” They were willing to go above and beyond everything that was expected and discovered that the second mile is really the mile that means the most. Read Matthew 5:40, 41.

Quiet quitters don’t get much joy or pleasure out of their work. Second milers discover that they receive a lot more than they give. It’s just one of the strange ways that life works.

If I am in the hospital, I know which kind of person I want to have as my nurse. As a pastor, I know what kind of lay people I want to work with.

What kind of person are you?

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