The Next Right Thing

Frozen 2 spoiler alert:

If you don’t want to know the climax of the movie, don’t read on. But here you have Anna. She is on a mission to help her sister Elsa, and continually refuses to leave her side on their journey to find the truth about the past.

At one point Elsa sends Anna off in a boat, because she is afraid Anna won’t make it if she stays with her. Then Elsa freezes as her last breathe is one asking Anna (who is nowhere near) to save her.

Anna then is seen with Olaf, who begins to vanish himself. And Anna is then left alone. Her boyfriend is “lost in the woods”, her sister is frozen, and her little snowman buddy is gone.

It is a pretty deep storyline at the end of this movie. Anna is in a dark place, and sings “The Next Right Thing”, Some of the lyrics are:

I’ve seen dark before
But not like this
This is cold
This is empty
This is numb
The life I knew is over
The lights are out
Hello, darkness
I’m ready to succumb

Yet as she is ready to give up, she still contemplates whether to try to right what was wronged in the past. She wonders how to move forward to do the next right thing, whatever the next right thing is.

It was really emotional, and I think we can all relate to feeling like that sometimes. Like at one moment there is so much hope, and then suddenly feeling all alone, and not knowing how to move forward. Anna sings on…

I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone
How to rise from the floor
Take a step
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing

I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step
This next choice is one that I can make

This could be part of a modern day psalm! And as I said, this part of the movie was really deep, and a bit dark emotionally. But I have to say that although I haven’t been as alone as Anna, there are many many times when I don’t know what my next few steps will be. I trust that He goes before me, but I am a planner. I want to know what is ahead, and I don’t. I want to know that my plans are going to go forward, yet most of the time I am taking every step only by faith. I want to see the end of the road, and like Anna I want to do the next right thing, even though I have only enough light to see my feet below me to ensure I am not walking off the side of a cliff.

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

While in college, I took a trip to California on spring break. We drove the coast from San Francisco to LA, stopping for the beautiful scenary, pictures at famous beaches, and to sleep. If you have ever driven the coast of Cali, you know that their is a portion of PCH where you are driving on a really narrow road, unlit, with only a small guard rail to your right so you don’t drive off a cliff.

I was the lucky one who drove that part, and it was late at night. It was hard to see, and I knew I had to be really careful or we would have driven right off the cliff, and right into the ocean. We made it to our destination, but I will tell you, that is somewhere I wouldn’t want to drive late at night again. I like to see what is ahead, and know what is coming. I am really not good with the being in the dark, and not being able to see what is in front of me well.

But the road for me was there, it was a sure thing. I just had to keep going.

My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. Job 23:11

I am guilty of wanting my plans set and known to me! And I am also guilty of making plan a, b, c, and sometimes even d, because I don’t know what the day ahead is going to hold. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me What is your next step?, and my reply has been I don’t know.

I can’t say this is the most comfortable place to be. It is not. Not at all.

I can’t imagine it was comfortable for Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice his only son. The son that held a promise, from God! You know, Isaac, the son that God had promised Abraham.

But even though things seemed pretty uncertain, it was clear that Abraham still put his trust in God, because when Isaac asked his father where the burnt offering was, Abraham’s answer wasn’t my classic I don’t know (I need to learn a thing or 2 from Abraham). His answer was God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering.

His answer was filled with faith.

We know the end of the story here. God provides the ram. The promise is there, just like He will always be there. And just like He provided the promised One. The end of the story will always be that God was there.

Sometimes I just don’t know what the road ahead is, I just know my road is there. It is already paved. I may not see it, I just know that He is there. And I may not know what the next right thing is, but I know the next right thing is always obedience to the One who leads, the One who has gone before me.

His promise is that if we submit to Him in all of our ways (if we are obedient), He will make out path straight. Your next right thing, may be something really hard. Your next right thing may feel really uncomfortable. But I pray that your next right thing be the next obedient thing. And when we are faced with the question of what your next step may be, may your answer (like Abraham) always be filled with faith.

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