The Next Thing

I didn’t want to do it. Everything within me rebelled at the thought of walking around my three-mile loop.

Emotions whined, “It’s cold outside,it’s getting dark.”

Body resisted, “I’d rather not, thank you.”

Mind reasoned. “Good idea, but I have important things to do.”

Will Power coaxed the other three into compliance. “Let’s just put on our tennis shoes and get some fresh air. The husband is pounding the pavement. Surely you can walk to the end of the driveway.”

Outside, I breathed in the damp air and walked past my driveway…. just to stretch my legs.

“See? This isn’t so bad. Do you think you can take that hill?”

Twilight gathered round me like a cloak, but Will Power challenged me. “Walk one mile and then you can turn around.”

 A week’s worth of rain had left ribbons of still water along the edges of the road. And the deep voices of croaking frogs hidden in the shadows cheered me, “You went this far, keep walking.”

Even when my aching knees protested and darkness enveloped me, Will Power spurred me onward with the words,One more step.” Until at last I was home free.

When faced with challenges or marathon trials, life may boil down to sheer will power and the decision to take one more step.

Elizabeth Elliot wrote, “Have you had the experience of feeling as if you’ve got far too many burdens to bear, far too many people to take care of, far too many things on your list to do? You just can’t possibly do it, and you get in a panic and you just want to sit down and collapse in a pile and feel sorry for yourself.”

She goes on to describe a Saxon legend carved in an old English parson somewhere by the sea. The legend is “Do the next thing.”

A poem about the legend says, “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.” 

Some days, the next thing is all we can do.

But it’s enough.

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

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