In Twelve Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, old-timers tell newcomers to just “do the next right thing.” You don’t have to resolve what will happen for the rest of your life or solve every problem confronting you—you just have to do the next right thing. Sometimes it’s a huge thing—admitting to some dishonesty or confronting another person. Most of the time it’s a smaller thing—getting to work on time, eating a healthy dinner, making a phone call to a trusted friend. Sometimes the next right thing is to go to bed and get some sleep. But you face the thing directly in front of you and do what you think is right. It can be a huge relief not to feel like you have to fix your life all at once, today.
This message is adapted from “A Wonderful Plan for Your Life” written by Kate Sprutta Elliott in the January/February 2001 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.