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, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration–“DO THE NEXT THING.”
Many a question, many of fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, 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 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,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee, “DO THE NEXT THING.”
Thomas Carlyle said, “Do the duty which lies nearest thee. Thy second duty will have become clearer.”
“Don’t object that your duties are so insignificant; they are to be reckoned of infinite significance and alone important to you. Were it that the more perfect regulation of your rooms, the sorting away of your clothes and trinkets, the arranging of your papers–whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it, with all thy might. Much more, if your duties are evidently higher, wider scope; if you have brothers, sisters, father, a mother, weigh earnestly what claim does lie upon you on behalf of each of them, and consider it as the one thing needful.
What matter how miserable one is, if one can do that? In doing the duty which lies nearest to thee is a sure and steady disconnection and extinction of whatever miseries one has in this world. Remember Jesus’ words to the disciples there by the well, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.'”