The Best Next Thing

You know how when you are driving along (especially on a highway) and you see the blue lights,  you tense up?  Is someone pulled over for speeding?  Is he coming after me? Has there been an accident?  In those approaching moments of anticipation you ready yourself for whatever you may find.  And if you live in my part of the world sometimes it just might be…a huge pile of hay!  I have no answers nor do I need any!  I live in Johnston County, NC and some mornings, if you are lucky!,  you might just see a huge pile of hay, requiring squad car alert, in the middle of the highway!  I’m still laughing.  Really.  Anyway…

Proverbs 29:18 (Amplified)
Where there is no vision {no redemptive revelation of God}, the people perish; but he who keeps the law {of God, which includes that of man}–blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.

Proverbs 29:18 (the message)
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Here is my thought this morning:  How many days do we spend looking back to “greater times” or longing for all we believe tomorrow will bring?

As I have read and written about Nehemiah this week I have been praying about God’s vision for my life.  Actually, I have out-right asked Him for a new vision or the eyes to see what He wants me to see about my life right now.  See, I catch myself looking back.  For almost two years I knew purpose in a way I had not known before.  God planted in my heart, as I was merely getting to know Him more personally, a vision for what He was calling me to do.  And as I continued to follow Him, I was amazed at how He worked those plans and purposes into my life.  It was amazing and it changed me forever.  But really what changed me wasn’t the “thing” He called me to do, it was the trusting Him, obeying Him, believing Him and being willing to step out with Him into deeper waters than I ever had before.  So, as the seasons of my life have turned, I catch myself squinting for purpose and meaning.

This morning, in my trusty old kitchen chair looking out at shadowed trees against a silver morning sky, I was reminded by my Father of the verse above.  I could sense Him speaking to my heart…there is absolute vision and purpose for our lives in every day, in every season.  But if we are preoccupied with yesterday or panting for tomorrow, we won’t see that.  And if we can’t see His purpose for today we certainly won’t be living in it.

Maybe you repair cars or marriages.  Maybe you manage people or projects.  Maybe you lead a ministry or a family.  Maybe you ring up groceries.  Maybe you write computer programs or maybe you write a blog.  Maybe you are a fundraiser.  A childraiser.  Perhaps you care for the sick or teach preschoolers letters and numbers.  You  might be doing laundry or doing big deals.  You might be wiping down tables or wiping off sticky little hands.

How would your life change if you truly knew, with certainty, the purpose God has for your projects and planning?  For your diapers and deals?  For your grocery bagging and young mind building?  What if you woke up tomorrow full of expectation for how God would use you?  See, I believe that is the clincher.

The Amplifed verse above calls vision a redemptive revelation.  God wants to reveal Himself to you.  God wants to reveal Himself through you so he can heal and redeem.  Your days, the way you spend your time, have the potential for greatness.  The package and label of teacher, minister, custodian, waiter, stay-at-home mom, etc are just containers for greatness.  The critical question is whose greatness is at stake?  Do I long to be great, to glorify myself, or do I say God, use me to make Your greatness known?

I kind of think that when we spend our time looking back at the last thing or forward to the next thing, it has become about us.  Because if my heart’s desire is for God to use me then I will be looking, each day as it comes, for His redemptive revelation.  I will be ready and expecting Him to use me to love on the people around me while I function in my role, whatever that is.  See, when I live with one simple vision:  God is great and His love is great and most amazingly, He wants to put His greatness on display in my life today, then every trip to the store is a chance to display joy as I wait in line with a smile.  Every child I teach is a chance to display unconditional love.  Every project I manage is a chance to display honesty and integrity.  Every customer I ring up is a chance to display cheerfulness.  Every car I repair is a chance to display helpfulness.  Every volunteer I lead in ministry is a chance to display grace and passion and care.  Every sick-bodied person is a chance to display the power of prayer.  Every sick marriage is a chance to display the power of forgiveness.  Every diaper change is a chance to display soul-steady contentment.  Every day and in every way, we must see His purpose so we don’t stumble through today looking back or grasping ahead.

The next moment, the next opportunity to be touched by His love and touch someone else, is the best next thing.


2 thoughts on “The Best Next Thing

  1. So true. I keep wishing away the next few months of my life until we are in our new home. But my baby boy is growing fast and will be almost a year when we move in. I’ll never get these precious moments back. (And now i’m crying!! LOL)

    I keep reminding myself to slow down, enjoy it. I know how fast it goes by because I still am amazed my daughter is 3 and rolls her eyes at me already! How I have to coax her into hugging me when I get home.

    I was even wishing for 5pm on my way to work this morning while talking to my husband! I mean, really!!

    I pray to that God continues showing me how precious THESE moments are now!!


  2. I love the pile of hay story, how funny!! Your message of the day was a Very Powerful Message! I love this because so many days I do tend to look back or I tend to want tomorrow more then today! Could you imagine how much you could actually accomplish if everyday you focus on the blessings of today and the goals of the day? One moment to the next is a simple but worthy goal to obtain! And it can be done only through the help and love of our one and only, GOD!
    love you cousin Thanks for the reminder!



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