"Do The Next Thing"

It's been one of those weeks. Long lists of things begging to be done coupled with physical issues that have kept me down more than up. Unexpected challenges (like new roof leaks...ugh!). Friends facing hard times and more hard times. "Overwhelmed" has been the word of the week this week...especially this morning, as I decided that no matter what, I *had* to start marking things off this "to do" list today. I found myself wishing this morning that I was one of those people (like friends I know :)) who get really energized and productive when under stress (and clean house!) Unfortunately, stress has the opposite effect on me...it paralyzes me. I can't afford to indulge in the sluggishness that has gripped me all week...progress *must* be made.

I was sitting at my desk trying to decide how in the world to fit it all in to the day...what needed to be done first and what was most important...and worrying about balancing all that needs to be done today with the need for energy and strength for the evening's commitments at church. A familiar Elisabeth Elliot phrase popped into my mind, and I decided to look up its origin. I was delighted to find this poem. It's going on our "Mega Memory Month" queue! What a beautiful reminder...

Do The Next Thing

(an old Saxon poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot)

"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, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely poem! Just did a cut and paste and printed off a copy for my files. Probably use it for the kids handwriting.