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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Do the Next Thing

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the concept of "Do the next thing" as part of my growth on the worry-trust continuum. When something seems to be too overwhelming or I am too bogged down with wanting to know how something is going to turn out, I am trying to shift my thinking to what the next thing is and then taking action.

I am a planner and want to think things through, to be intentional. I like the concept of beginning with the end in mind; and yet, I am finding that there are many scenarios lately that I need to let go of my timelines and desire to know and instead trust that God will reveal to me what I need to know when I need to know. Rather than spending so much time and energy on trying to solve the bigger questions in my mind or to feel like I have a strong, solid grasp on the big picture before moving forward, I just need to take a small step forward. Then the next one and the next one. Leaning into uncertainty, I take those steps of faith over time.

By letting go of wanting to have so much control over the outcome, instead, I can pray "Thy will be done" and "Jesus, I trust in You" and prepare to be amazed at how things turn out, the twists and turns in my journey. Having confidence that God is working all things for my good (Romans 8:28) helps to surrender that control and wait for his plans to emerge over time.

Keeping these thoughts in mind, I can see how it makes all the difference with aspects that seem big or small. Anytime I feel stress, anxiety, or uncertainty bubbling up, I can feel strength building to counteract those thoughts - the peace and calm seeping in. I can see how so many different scenarios in my life have led me to this point.

It is of course taking practice, prayer, loving advice, and reminders over time nudging me toward this growth. It feels like it is all in preparation to move toward the big picture of God's plan for me, the work He would like me to do. I take pleasure in seeing different aspects come into focus when looking back, leading me toward a greater sense of trust in the process through understanding aspects in the past that I couldn't have known yet because it was not time.

Where are you at in your journey? What can you do to train yourself toward letting go and doing the next thing, rather than wasting time wanting to know all the answers up front? Where are you at on the worry-trust and control-surrender continuums? How can you grow? How can you support others in their growth based on what you have already learned over time? 

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