The Next Right Thing

Over my years as a recovering alcoholic/addict, I have heard the phrase “just do the next right thing” many times.  It is such a simple phrase filled with  many questions and implications.  Exactly what is the next right thing?  I was told to just follow my heart and gut to know.  It seems to go hand in hand with Step Eleven, Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscientious contact with God as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of His/Her will for us and the power to carry that out.

If you have followed my blog posts recently you know that I have been going through some very difficult situations.  I have been confused, angry, frustrated, hurt, and yes, even afraid at times.  I have been trying to do the “next right thing” and praying for knowledge and power.   Some days have been more difficult than others.  I am grateful to have family and friends who have been there to hear me talk, let me cry, and offer their support.

My best friend happens to be the Pastor where I attend church.  This friendship does not give me a free sneak look at the sermon each week.  I have to hear it along with everyone else on Sunday morning.   I don’t even get a glimpse at the subject ahead of time, however, I do know when she finishes writing the sermon each week.  A few weeks ago, I called her about 10pm on Saturday night when things began to get difficult.  I had just learned somethings that were going to change my life and I didn’t know what to do.

The next morning as I listened to the scripture and the sermon, I was astounded to hear a story and sermon that I hold on to everyday since the chaos started.   I hope she forgives me for not remembering the exact scripture and names of all the people in the scripture. Let me give the very short version in my own words.  It seems one of the Old Testament tribes of people were threatening another group of people.  Pretty standard Old Testament kind of stuff.    But in this story, the people gathered and went off to battle.  They didn’t have the same cool weapons or numbers of warriors as the others,  but they went out in faith.  The did the “next right thing.”  I am sure they were afraid and concerned about the outcome.  When they showed up, they didn’t have to fight.  They just had to show up and God fought the battle for them.   That is what I am doing each day.  I am just showing up and asking God to fight the battle for me.   I told her after church that if I had not known she had finished the sermon long before I talked to her Saturday night, I would swear she wrote it just for me.

I know my battle isn’t over yet.  I know there  will many more before I can say the problems and challenges I am facing right now are over.  So I get up each day, spend a few moments in prayer and meditation, and “do the next right thing”.   I ask my friends and family to stand with me ready for the battle if I need them.  I am grateful I don’t have to fight this one alone.


8 responses

  1. It’s none of my business what you are addicted to. All I will say is that I have an addiction myself and that your words have been an inspiration to me. Thank you.


    1. Thanks for sharing that with me. I am in long term recovery from alcohol and drugs. I also struggle with having an eating disorder. If you ever want to chat you can email me at


  2. This was one of the best pieces of advise a Priest gave me. Just keep showing up. Your post if very timely for me, thanks for reminding me. I just have to be there, God will do the real work. Blessings!


  3. Pretty sure that was the story of Jehosaphat from 2 Chronicles. Also made popular by a Don Francisco song we listened to when I was kid. It’s truely strange what sticks from your childhood. I can remember that sone like I just heard it, but I have no clue what I had for lunch yesterday!


    1. Which song is that? I remember “I am a Promise” and everything Amy Grant ever did. 🙂 Please don’t tell Jan you had to help me remember. LOL


  4. Thanks, Cathy. I needed that.
    I’m re-learning these days that even though we KNOW we’re never alone, we can still feel really lonely at times. You are NOT alone, ok?


  5. This must have been a difficult post to write, Cathy. So poignant, so uplifting. Even if you don’t feel it, your words have inspired me today. It’s a great comfort to know that God’s at work, even if we can’t quite see that sometimes.


  6. It is situations like these that remind me that writing and preaching are such a God thing. It is both humbling and totally reassuring!


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