If You Don’t Know What To Do Next

If You Don’t Know What To Do Next

Ten-year-old me wanted nothing more than to be like my 17-year-old sister. And who wouldn’t? She was in high school, she could drive, go out with friends, and do all sorts of things my ten-year-old brain thought were amazing.

At this point, you are probably either laughing at naïve ten-year-old me or you’re reminiscing back to days when being a teenager did sound like the coolest thing! But you remember what happened, right? We all got to be teenagers and then we were all disappointed. It wasn’t quite as cool as they showed on TV, was it?

Being an adult is not much different. As humans, we do this to ourselves though, don't we? We divide life into stages of achievement that we check off so we can move on to the next thing:

  • Get out of high school/college.
  • Get a career.
  • Get a spouse.
  • Get this, do that, be more.

But the results are never quite what we expect.

Chasing What’s Next

We end up ignoring one stage in anticipation of the next. You’re single—well, when’s that going to end? You’re married—kids? House? Retirement plan? It doesn’t really seem to matter what stage we’re in, the world (and relatives) just pushes us around telling us that where we are in life isn’t enough.

Maybe you’re not sure what your next step in life is, but you’re still hoping it’s going to be better than this one. Maybe, like me, you’ve spent some time thinking and praying about what’s next for your life and you just don’t have an answer.

But what if the answer is to stand still?

Stand still?

Stand still.

Sometimes we get so caught up in doing and being that we forget to stand still and be in awe of God.

Look at Psalm 46:10. Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing and the being and the getting that we forget to take time to stand still and be in awe of God. So here’s how we can use these moments to move forward:

4 Steps for Anyone Who Doesn’t Know What to Do Next

1. Check your goals.

In general, your next step shouldn’t create stress. If it’s hard for you to think about standing still and not doing something for a moment, ask yourself who you’re doing things for. Is your next step taking you closer to Jesus or to your own personal goals?

2. Ask God questions.

This is not the same as “question God.” You may not get an answer to “why is this happening,” but God will always give us all of the answers we need (2 Peter 1:3; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:8). Like any relationship, communication is key! Talk to Jesus.

3. Create space to listen.

    Rest has such a huge purpose! You know how loud it can be when you’re in your car on the freeway with the windows down? Sometimes that’s what our lives are like. God reminds us we need to rest—we need to put the windows up and put our lives in park for a few minutes so that our surroundings are quiet enough for His voice to be heard above everything else.

The Bible tells us that Jesus wants us to rest.

For starters, God made us so He knows what our bodies and our souls need (Genesis 1:26-27). Then He demonstrated the principle of resting for us (Genesis 2:2). Just to make it even clearer for us (He knew we would struggle), He then set aside an entire day every week for us during which we aren’t supposed to work (Exodus 20:10-11). But in today’s culture, we often use Sundays as a day to catch up on housework, homework, yard work, or anything else, and we forget God’s design of resting.

4. Obey.

Listening to what God says is one thing, but putting it into action is another. Once you’ve taken the time to breathe, ask, and listen, be ready to obey.

When we want to be in another stage or on a different next step, standing still is hard, but that’s why we have to take the best next step—even if that means standing still and learning from this current stage (look at what Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12!).

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