What’s Next?

How do you plan your day? Often someone will make plans based on long term goals they want to achieve. Although most people don’t write down their goals, most do have an idea about what they want. They may be saving for a future vacation or for retirement. They may like to make improvements to their home, so they think about the cost, the work involved, and how the desired plan might come about. Or they may have personal goals of something they would like to do, such as playing an instrument, writing a book, or competing in a 5K run. These goals can’t be had overnight, so they brainstorm about what’s needed to accomplish them, and what that first step would be – what’s next.

Lately goals and dreams seem to have been put on hold. The Covid restrictions seem to strangle our hopes for what used to be normal, smothering the plans we may have previously put in place. When we are struggling with increased food costs, high unemployment, as well as social distancing and a cloudy future, who wants to dream big anymore? We just want to survive.

That dream vacation at the beach may be put aside; however, if one looks at the goal of the vacation and not just the destination, perhaps that goal can be realized. Taking a moment to sit in a lawn chair in the shade and read a book with beach sounds playing on your computer can mimic sitting on the beach. Playing with your children with a garden hose and water balloons or creating a “slip and slide” with plastic sheeting, water and fabric softener on the “slide” might be a reasonable alternative when we can’t get to the ocean.

Do you want to learn a new skill. Take a minute to check for online courses. Instead of looking at what’s not possible, think about what is, what one thing might define an abundant life, and then ask: “What’s next?”

Dr. Robert Maurer, in his book One Small Step Can Change Your Life, tells his readers that taking an extremely small step may be all we need to find the momentum to realize our dreams. He encourages his readers to envision the smallest step possible and do that, a step that would be almost impossible not to accomplish, possibly one that would take only one minute. And when you’ve taken that small step, take the next small step. As a physician he tells us that taking on too big a challenge will cause our fight or flight hormones to kick in, and that can, and often does, emotionally paralyze us into inaction. But if we take a very small step, which is not at all challenging, we will ease through it without anxiety or stress, and accomplish much.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life,  and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Abundant life may not seem attainable, but that depends on what you identify as abundant life. Is it really a vacation or is it the love God has given us – our families and friends – or perhaps the work He’s called us to do. However you define it, it really can only be found in Him.

So what’s next? That all depends on how you define your abundant life and the very small first step you decide to take. Then reach for the Morning Star to guide you to what’s next.

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