The Next Right Thing

Sometimes I wonder why it is

that the tiniest choices in life – the simple, the small –

are so often the most difficult?

Why is it that a seemingly insignificant response – a seemingly minor decision – an in-the-moment reaction – plays such a pivotal role in our journey through life?

Why do the little things require so much courage?

Sometimes it seems like the hardest choices are the ones where we AREN’T deciding whether or not to become a missionary overseas, or if we’re called to adoption, or whom to marry – weightier decisions with pretty significant consequences.

Not to say they’re not tough – heavens no. I, for one, have found that making big decisions easily is not my forte.

But I have found that it is so often the little decisions which add up to major disciplines – and yet oh, it can be so hard to choose the brave thing in the moment, when choosing the easy thing seems inconsequential.

Or just flat-out painful.

I know so many people who have walked through a season that requires all they’ve got (and then some), and yet they are still called upon to make brave, small choices – and how can we do that, when we’ve got nothing left?

Sometimes, when the weariness, or hurt, or sorrow of this life works into the deep places of my heart, I find myself wondering – is the brave life really worth it?

Is it worth the cost of the tiny courageous, painful, hard decisions? Because there are so many easier ways to live life. Ways that don’t hurt so much. Goodbyes that don’t need to be said. Failures that could be avoided by inaction. Loneliness that doesn’t need to be felt.

I could still love God and pick an easier life, couldn’t I?

And in the deep places of my heart, I already know the answer. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering sometimes. I’m someone who naturally wrestles with (and seeks to actively avoid) discomfort, uncertainty, and anxiety. Maybe that’s you, too.

And when we choose paths that bring about discomfort, uncertainty, and anxious situations…paths that require a thousand small hard choices to keep going, keep up, keep on, keep being brave – well, it’s just not easy, is it?

But then – in the end, how can we settle? When we catch a glimpse of a life abandoned to Christ…led by Him, comforted by Him, carried by Him…

When we taste the adventure of a life surrendered to Him…

When we choose to trust His heart for us and take the next step…

Then how can we choose less, knowing the riches of Christ? What could we be missing out on through our unwillingness? What could He be doing through us?

Sometimes pain is worth it. And since God’s promised that we won’t ever be walking alone – through big or small decisions – then maybe endurance is the better part of valor.

And you know what? All we need to do is make the next small decision.

All that depends on us right now is doing the next right thing.

(And no, I’m not referring to Frozen II’s hit song, but hey, it’s now playing in my mind, so go ahead and listen if you want – it’s a good one.)

Maybe the next small thing is just getting ready for the day. Maybe it’s getting out your journal and writing a page or two. Maybe it’s scheduling a coffee time for a tough conversation that needs to happen. Maybe it’s just driving to an airport and getting on the plane. Or in the car. Or simply putting your shoes on and taking a deep breath.

Whatever your next right thing is, God is giving you grace and strength for it. Giving me grace and strength, too.

And courage.

In the end, sometimes we just need to remember that all our tiny brave decisions make for one brave life.

And that is a pretty good trade.

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