Do the next thing

(This is a repost from last summer)

Sometimes it’s crazy hard to know if we are making the right decisions in ministry. We feel a world of possibilities, but we also fear missing God’s “call” or “perfect will.” Why do we doubt that the God who bent history towards our salvation, made our dry bones come alive, and placed his spirit within us is going to let us ruin everything? Yes, the Christian life requires daily obedience to God’s way of life, loyalty to our heavenly Father, and care for others. But we also have to make decisions. If these former things are in line – if our footing is solid – why should we doubt the next step?

This poem is a quiet reminder of genuine ministry. I can picture the faithful pastor in this poem – who is fittingly anonymous. He spends one day after another studying the word, delivering his message, and caring for his people. Most often it was a thankless task, but now, standing before his Saviour and seeing his God, it was infinitely worth it.

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,
Thrust 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.

(Unknown Author)