Do The Next Thing

A new month is here already!


Did you participate in JaNoWriMo last month? Did you meet your writing goals? Did you not get as far as you hoped you would?

I’m a total perfectionist, for me this also means that I’m a total procrastinator. It’s easy to put things off or not give them your all if you’re worried that you won’t be able to do it perfectly.

I’ve discovered that this has become a serious problem in more than one area of my life. It’s something I’m really praying about, and something I’m actively working on.

“Just do the next thing,” Elisabeth Elliot said, quoting from a poem she’d read. Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of martyr Jim Elliot, has always been a huge influence in my life. Her straightforward, no punches held sort of writing has inspired, convicted, and encouraged me for many years.

“Just do the next thing.”

Just do the next thing, seems like a  pretty easy marching order, right?

Here’s what it doesn’t mean:

1.) It doesn’t mean I have to do a hundred things today.

2.) It doesn’t mean I have to do one thing perfectly today either.

Here’s what it does mean:

1.) Doing the next thing means just that, doing the next thing.

2.) Doing the next thing means I’m trusting and being obedient to my calling

I’ve included the full poem below:

Do The Next Thing

“At an old English parsonage down by the sea,

 there came in the twilight a message to me.

 Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven

 that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.

 And all through the hours 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, guidance are given.

 Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,

 trust that 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 resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to 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.

 Do the next thing.” (source unknown)


I think I’m going to print this one out and hang it up in my room. It’s such a great reminder.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7


How are you doing this week? How can I pray for you?



About Brittany Valentine

Saved by grace, sibling one of eight, part-timer by day, speculative fiction writer by night. Working on a series called The Chronicles of Aura.

4 comments on “Do The Next Thing

  1. What a timely reminder. My husband is a counselor working with at-risk adults, and has had a very discouraging day. He’s never heard this poem. It definitely helps put things in perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    • This was the first time I’d read the whole thing too. I’ll be praying for you guys. I certainly know what it’s like to have a discouraging day.:)

  2. Nice post, Brittany!! Have you heard the song The Very Next Thing by Casting Crowns??

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