Do the Next Thing

I know I’ve posted this before, but it bears reminding. For all of you who are unsure, doubting, wondering, feeling lost…

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “Do the next thing.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

~Author Unknown

The line in this poem that always seems to strike a chord with me, is the final line of the third stanza: “Leave the results, do the next thing.”

Leave the results?

Leave them where? Firmly in the arms of Jesus. I cannot control results–the reactions of people around me, my own emotions, what happens next, et cetera–but I can control my own actions. Do I follow my heart, no matter where it leads? Or, should I lead my heart in the direction it is right to go?

I try to choose the latter, for my heart is deceitful, and more often than not, leads me astray. I love how this poem puts into perspective the Christian walk. How do we eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. We don’t tackle the elephant or the mountain all in a day. Do the next thing, what’s right in front of you – even if it’s just the dishes.

After all, the dishes are manageable, right? One step is doable. One step will get us a little closer to our destination, and all that matters is that it is a step in the right direction.

To me, that is what is so encouraging about knowing Jesus. Knowing that I’m not expected to reach the pinnacle of maturity in Christ immediately, but that I am only expected to hold my Shepherd’s hand and just keep walking.

That thought never ceases to make me smile, and lay down my burdens gladly.

What part of this poem speaks most to you? Why?

Does it speak to you at all? Why or why not?

For you, what is the next thing? (You don’t have to comment about that one…keep it between you and your Shepherd.) 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Do the Next Thing

  1. I love this, Tiff!! I may steal it one day from you. Doing the Next Thing can be such a downfall! It’s so hard to keep those worries and decisions in the back of my mind, instead of releasing them to the only One who can truly tell what is best for MY needs.

    Wonderful post, and beautifully written! ♥ ♥

  2. Pingback: Just for Today… « The Faery Inn

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