Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do The Next Thing

Does anyone else get overwhelmed by a "to do" list that is miles long, and seemingly unconquerable? I find myself flitting from one unfinished task to another, highly distractable and generally irritable! I read somewhere that as women get older, they start to lose the ability to multi-task because they produce less estrogen and more testosterone, thereby becoming more like men in their thinking processes! Oh, that is BAD NEWS! Author and teacher Elisabeth Elliot has a favorite saying that has become one of my favorites as well!

"Just do the next thing!"

This helps whether you are trying to declutter a hopelessly messy room, deal with a house full of sick children, get through an emotionally trying week, face a daunting challenge, or just get supper on the table.

Here is the poem that was her inspiration:

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.



KarenW said...

I love Elisabeth Elliot and that is awesome advice. Thanks! Sounds like you had a great Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth,

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Elizabeth is "one" of my favorite authors. Just this moring I was talking to the Lord about how overwhelmed I am and He reminded me just spend time with me and get up and do the next thing! Isn't the Holy Spirit cool? Love ya, Renee

Gina Witcher / Runnermom4 said...

Beth, Gina Witcher here. I guess you saw that I came to your blog a while back. I don't know how I found it. Thank you so much for giving me a "shout out" on your blog roll(that's the cool word my husband uses). I love this last blog. It sounds like my life and my thoughts every day. Recently I decided I was going to have a regular uninterrupted quiet time and I didn't care if my kids watched a horror movie (well okay maybe not that) or if I was sitting on top of a load of laundry with mold growing on food on the table, or if it was 11 in the morning... and I found that when I did that my house almost cleaned itself, and my kids didn't fight as much, and I wasn't as stressed. It was amazing.

Anyway, I love that poem. Are you guys still in Wake Forest? I am also going to put you on my blog roll. gina

Daisiemazy said...

Well, that explains quite a lot like why I am so easily distracted and can't keep my mind on one thing when I have so many things going on at once. Thanks for sharing that so that I don't feel like I am totally losing my mind :o)