Sunday, January 3, 2010

Do the Next Thing

Last week, my Sunday School class studied spiritual resolve. What a blessing to be reminded that our walk  is just that, a walk, taken one single step at a time with our faces resolutely set toward Jerusalem. Why I feel the need to make MY walk a gallop or sprint at times is beyond me. But then, I have always been the kind who wanted to high jump to the finish line and avoid all those pesky in- betweens.

If I'm like that in my spiritual life, I'm like that times 10 in day to day life management.  When I stop and make a serious evaluation of everything that needs to be tweaked, fixed, changed, organized, cleaned, or deleted in my life, it's just too overwhelming. ~Let's face it: I'm just not a long term look kind of gal.~  So, far too often, I fire off a list of the to dos then crumble in a  heap of the I can'ts. How ridiculous. This year, I simply resolve to walk, one single step at a time. And when the walk seems too overwhelming, I simply resolve to crawl. After all, an inch forward is still forward.  In talking to my friend Helen, who always, always  has the word upon the wheel, she mentioned Elisabeth Elliot's  philosophy of "Do the Next Thing".  The corresponding poem which inspired Elliot is beautiful and practical.

At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours 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, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that 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 resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, Let this be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

Yes, I know.... Well, of course!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails