Monday, February 20, 2012

Do the next thing….

He went out not knowing whither he went.  Hebrews 11:8

I happened upon this verse the other day….at the gym…in a devotional book I downloaded a while back from Project Gutenberg. The devotional is called My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year by John Henry Jowett…copywrite 1914. 

The verse is talking about Abraham…when he was still Abram….when God called him out of Ur. The Amplified Bible words it thusly….

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.

The devotional goes on….

ABRAM began his journey without any knowledge of his ultimate destination.

He took “one step,” and he did not “ask to see the distant scene.” And that is faith, to do God’s will here and now, quietly leaving the results to Him.

I am so totally, completely not there yet….spiritually speaking….because I do trouble my mind and I do want to know where I am going.  And where my kids are going…and where Keith is going…..where the economy is going….where the world is going (it is 2012 afterall…the legendary doomsday year)

I’m not much for the one step at a time, give no thought to the morrow….sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof stuff.  I want to see the distant scene…

Or at least I think I do… even while grudgingly admitting that God, in his mercy, only lets us see so far down the dark path. 


And then, totally by happenstance, I came upon an interview with Elizabeth Elliot that complemented this Abram thing.  (Truth be told, it might have been visa versa….the interview first and then the devotional…can’t remember….and God is always doing stuff like that to…for….me)

Elizabeth Elliot was widowed twice and is no stranger to heartache.  Her first husband, Jim Elliot was murdered by the Auca tribe when they were missionaries in South America. She went on to live with the tribe responsible for the death of her husband for several years after that. 

Her second husband died of cancer….a much slower death…and that experience was the subject of the interview.  She credits something she learned from her mother with getting her though those days

For the first few weeks my husband did the driving. Then he was too tired, too worn out, too weak, and I did the driving. It was my job. My job was also housework, laundry, meals, encouragement, trying to move as methodically as I possibly could from one thing to another. And I had learned a principle from my mother many years before--do the next thing.

Reminds me of another quote….one that I actually wrote a post about a while back. Thomas Carlyle said,

"Do the duty which lies nearest thee. Thy second duty will have become clearer."

And it isn’t necessarily the things that appear to be the biggest, grandest, earth shakingly important things that make the most impact.  The trick just might be to obey the leading of the spirit within….

The devotional closes with this:

“Thou has laid Thine hand upon me.” That is enough, just to feel the pressure of the guiding hand.

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