Sunday, November 1, 2009
Do the Next Thing
The earliest days of motherhood could overwhelm me with the tasks that clamored for my immediate attention. Add, on top of the chores, the piercing wail of the baby and my head could be spinning.
During this season, I found a favorite quote while reading a book by Elisabeth Elliot. It is simple, just--"Do the next thing."
This simple directive has helped me more than any other. When I looked around and felt overwhelmed by the laundry, dishes and other tasks that called me, I remembered -- do the next thing.
For some reason, when I remember this rule, I gain great peace. It keeps me focused on the next step. It is rather like Peter who dove over the side of the boat to walk with Jesus. He did great until he raised his eyes and looked at the entire sea instead of his goal of reaching Jesus' side.
The early years of motherhood were a great training ground to keep me focused on the next thing. That training has stayed with me.
We are all a phone call away from great changes in our life. I had a week like that. My dad had a heart attack and a close call. This was unexpected and I was overwhelmed.
One phone call landed me outside of the ICU door in my parents' town waiting, always waiting, for visiting hours to start. I would race home in between to "rest" and answer phone calls. Cook, clean, comfort.
I remembered my "mommyhood" training. I kept thinking, "Do the next thing." I sense of calm came over me. If God gives us just enough light for next step, He gives us the grace to do the next thing.