Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Do the Next Thing

I don't know about you guys, but I like to be in control and know what is coming next. I love my planner and the comfort of knowing what is ahead. I have had to grow in the areas of submission and trust. The Lord has stretched me through unexpected trials and challenges.

I have always said that I wish I had a huge spotlight showing me what is down the road in my journey, but have learned to accept that most of the time God gives me a small flashlight--only shining light on the next step on my path. I must submit my desire to know what is ahead and trust and obey for that one step forward.

A wonderful poem quoted often by Elisabeth Elliot captures this:

Do the Next Thing

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 results, 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, be thy psalm.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons, do the next thing.
So, dear friend, as you face each day, trust that He is Sovereign and in control. He is Creator of all and knows each step of the path intimately--He fashioned it! Concentrate on Him. Seek passionate to follow closely after Him. Don't worry at what the journey will bring, just do the next thing. Do not be overwhelmed at the tasks ahead, do the one directly in front of you.


Laurel Wreath said...

Thank you needed to read this today.

Natalie said...

Kelly, you are so right. The verse that immediately popped in my head was "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet..." A small lamp that only illuminates each step. For someone like me who likes to plan ahead, it's difficult to only see my feet at times.

Angie said...

As He beckons me....I will do the next thing...this was so good! Just what I needed today!

Mocha with Linda said...

That is great. I too like to plan and know the next 15 steps or so. Thanks for the reminder.

kmom3 said...

Do the next thing.
One step at a time. Trusting in Him. Yep! That's what I have got to do!
Thanks for your prayers! And for this post!

Susie said...

I love this poem and I'm going to copy it right now. Thank you for posting this today. It was very needed(0:

Wendy said...

I am a planner and like to know what is ahead. I have to always remember that even though I may plan a course, the Lord determines my steps.

Linda said...

I have read this before a while back. Thanks for the reminder.

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, I don't remember ever seeing this poem before, though I have been taught to "do the next thing" as a busy mom. What wonderful thoughts.

thanks for sharing this.