Just do the next thing

There are times in life when we get overwhelmed. Sometimes we have too much work to do, sometimes we’re ill, sometimes we’re just dog tired, sometimes earthquakes strike. The world keeps spinning, life carries on and we have to somehow deal with it.

You’d think the world would just stop for a little while to show some respect, but it doesn’t. It seems impossible that people can still get up, go to work, laugh, eat out or go shopping when it feels like your own world is about to collapse. And still the sun rises and sets, another day.

How do you carry on? You do the next thing. Get up. Get dressed. Eat. Change the baby’s diaper. Wash the dishes. Attack the pile of papers. Have a good cry. Shovel the silt. God brings us through everything, one step at a time.

This poem, by an anonymous author, captures it well.

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: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”

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,
Thrust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.

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, doe the nexte thynge.

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, doe the nexte thynge.

–Anonymous

To our dear family and friends in Christchurch, know that we are praying for you. Praying for strength — physical, emotional and spiritual — to do the nexte thynge.

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