Friday, March 02, 2007

Do The Next Thing

I am not sure what the copy right rules are in blogging, but I do know that there are many great blogs out there that are hard to top. One such blogger is Justin Taylor who writes on Between Two Worlds. The other day, at a time that I needed it, he posted this poem that was quoted by professor Ray Van Neste. I usually never enjoy poems like others do. I often wonder what's wrong with me when I hear someone say "Listen to this poem, isn't great. It just changed my life." Ok, they don't really say it changed their life, but I obviously don't get as much out of it as they do. But I ate up this poem. It doesn't change lives, but I think it helps get me out of bed some mornings. It is encouraging to know that God doesn't expect us to take multiple steps but just one more with His grace. Listen to the words of this professor and then hear the poem, it even ryhmes.

Professor Van Neste writes:

Here is a poem which contains much wisdom for Christian living in general and is very helpful for pastoral ministry as well. . . . There is much simple wisdom here. Do you find yourself on Monday feeling your soul is scorched, terribly aware of your inadequacies, fearful of what is to come? Since God is still in heaven and His steadfast Word declares His love for you, just carry on and do the next thing. Take the next step of obedience. Do you worry how your children will turn out, what the future will hold for your church, how the finances will look at the end of the month? Resist the allure of self pity, and just take the next step of obedience. We are typically given enough grace just for the next step. Fret not about what lies around the bend. Perform faithfully the next step, and we will make it home safely in the end. This poem is a balm to my soul.

Here it is, lightly modernized. The author is unknown:

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,
Trust 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


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