You know, sometimes the best thing we can do is to simply do the next best thing.
Maybe you’re a little like me. When you wake in the morning, it feels like a normal day. Morning fog begins to lift as you try to recall what day of the week it is. Then, what’s on your schedule for the day. But all too quickly, reality descends upon you. Oh yeah. It’s not a normal day. It’s another day that will likely feel strange. Another day I must deal with this virus. And, it’s another day to do my part in helping me and others stay healthy.
This is our reality, at least for now. The way I see it, friend, you and I have two choices. We can either detest this season in our lives and be miserable, or we can choose to make the best of it and be joyful, in spite of the circumstances. This morning as I woke and ran through the above scenario–again for the umpteenth day–I had to choose what kind of day this was going to be. I had to choose if I would drown myself in the news and be fearful, or rise above the doom and gloom and attempt to make a difference in my little corner of the world.
So, I took a deep breath, and decided to do the next best thing.
I decided to attempt making a difference.
My next best thing was to get out to bed. Check. Next best thing? Drink a full glass of water. Check. Next? Sit down and do my Bible lesson, read my devotionals, journal, and pray. Check. And so on, and so forth. (You probably don’t care to read every next best thing choice I’ve made this morning, so I’ll stop now. But you get the idea.) Each next best thing decision I’ve made this morning has led me here. To write something encouraging for someone who might need some hope today.
I may not fully understand your exact experience with social distancing, self-quarantining, and flattening the curve, but I’m guessing we share some similarities. I understand how feelings of anxiousness, anxiety, and fear begin to breathe down your neck, causing a near-panic to fill you when your thoughts fill with worse-case scenarios. And I also understand how these can come and go in waves at any given moment.
Yes, I understand how schedules have been turned upside-down. How lonely it can feel being cooped-up at home. How moments of hope can be dashed when news of the next confirmed case gets closer and closer to your front door. Yikes.
When these moments come, or when we get to a moment we don’t know what to do, we can take a deep breath and simply do the next best thing.
Friend, what’s your next best thing?
It’s likely your next best thing might be entirely different than mine. Is it to sit and pray? To tackle the next item on your list at work? Is it to get down on the floor next to your child and give him/her a hug? Maybe it’s to begin making dinner? Or to call your parents? Is it to exercise or read something positive? Or quite possibly it may be taking a nap.
You know, it doesn’t have to be monumental or life-altering. It doesn’t have to be noticeable by others or even wonderfully special. It’s just the next timely decision made in attempt to stay aware and mindful of the choices we have before us. It can help us make a difference no matter where we find ourselves… at work, at home, driving down the freeway.
Our decisions can help us make a difference today.
A difference in our lives. In the lives of our families. In the lives of our co-workers. Yes, even in the lives of those who may read your words online. You just never know how one next best thing decision will impact another today, tomorrow, in the days to come.
I invite you to join me. Friend, take a deep breath and just do the next best thing. Sometimes this is the best thing we can do.
Take care of you and yours. Praying for us all today.