Half a Notion

When I Don’t Know What To Do

by Midge Houghtaling

Have you ever had an event or series of problems in your life that left you shattered, desperate and confused?

Divorce, loss of job, the death or serious illness of a family member… certain circumstances can leave you feeling as though a giant tornado has spun everything in your life in chaotic circles and then tossed it in a heap.

I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by problems. It was during such a time, several years ago, that I said, “God, if I were steeped in sin. I don’t think I could have made such a mess of my life.”

Yes. I was actually implying that God had made a mess of my life.

“Are you mad?” I asked Him a few minutes later.


“So, what do you want from me?” I asked. “I really don’t know what to do.”

And that’s when this thought came to me (out of the blue) a thought to simply do the next right thing.

This principal has now become a daily guide for my life. It keeps me busy and it keeps me focused. It keeps me from being overwhelmed by the price of gasoline, my non-existent career and all other unpleasant aspects of life.

“Doing the Next Right Thing” has two components:

First— I will commit my future to the sovereign hand of God.

Focusing on the next right thing, has helped me to stop worrying about next month, next week or even tomorrow… So, throw a load of clothes in the washer, plan supper and take the kids to the park. Do the task at hand and quitting fretting about things that are not in your control.

Doing the next right thing means that I will handle the task before me, work to the best of my ability and leave the rest to God. I can plan the “happily-ever-after-ending” for my life and I can work to make it happen, but the truth is, I cannot make it happen. Sometimes, hard work and perseverance lead to success, but not always.

Doing the next right thing, means I don’t have to worry about the outcome, I only have to try.

Second—I will seek to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Doing the next right thing, is not impulsiveness. It’s not doing the next thing that comes to your mind, but rather finding the mind of God. This sounds hard but really it is not. It requires surrender… maybe taking just a moment to ask, “What do you want from me today?”

Look at it this way: Instead of wondering “What would I do if I were God?” Consider “What would God do if He were me?” That is how you will find the mind of God. When we pray and seek His wisdom, God is always faithful to show us what He would have us to do.

So, if your life feels like a train wreck, a hurricane toss or the wave of a relentless tsunami—don’t give up and don’t give in to despair, just do the next right thing.

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  1. alexandra geiser says:

    Great article Midge! Lots to think about.. Doing the next right thing.. sounds good.. will adopt it 🙂 God bless you! Marie

  2. Tim H. says:

    Excellent article Midge! and great advice!

  3. Randall M says:


    Great article!

    Thanks for the reminder to let go and let God!

  4. LeAnn M says:

    Great Job Midge! God Bless you!

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