“Do the next right thing.”

That is the theme song and message from my granddaughter’s favorite movie, Frozen 2. I share this because it has become a favorite daily mantra of mine ever since a friend introduced me to the line during a conversation about how we are negotiating this troubling, uncertain and anxious time.

I will admit that I have struggled with what to say this week. I still have a blog ready to go on my thoughts about how the Holy Breadcrumbs image may be giving way to a new image more suited to our current context. I had written another blog after receiving a couple of emails from readers about their discomfort with me stepping into the fray of our divisive political context. I was aware that this week’s blog would be published within seven days of the presidential inauguration and that, given our current situation, anything I say on Thursday morning could be outdated by Thursday evening and certainly by next Wednesday.

unknown path

Then I thought about this line that I repeat to myself on most days: “Do the next right thing.” It has guided me and calmed me for weeks. The truth is if I look too far into the future I feel overwhelmed and unsuited to the task of leading a community of faith through a period of an historic pandemic and equally historic political pandemonium. But if I concentrate on what is in front of me for one particular day I almost always feel confident about what I am doing and certain that I am doing “the next right thing.”

People ask me how I am doing. Over and over again I find myself answering, “I am doing fine as long as I just concentrate on one day at a time.”

This theme from Frozen 2 has given me good guidance and it also reminds me that we in the faith community are not alone. Artists, musicians, screenwriters, poets, and novelists are often partners with us providing in spiritual nourishment and guidance to our society. The language may be different, but the message is often the same.

“Do the next right thing” is Disney’s version of faith. The whole premise of faith is being able to act on what is good and right right now even when we can’t see the eventual outcome. The whole premise of faith is to trust that there is a force (a force we call God) in the universe that doesn’t need us to have everything figured out. That force only needs us to be faithful right now and to “do the next right thing.”

This is why I have been writing under the Holy Breadcrumbs title. It is my way of saying, “All we have to do is follow the next holy breadcrumb and trust that when we get to one breadcrumb on the path God will present the next breadcrumb to guide our way.

rubik's cube

I think this is important in this time. I personally am not smart enough to know what to do in coming days that will result in peace, the healing of our society, the restoration of trust between people and the avoidance of conflict and violence. The complexity of our situation is too much for me to know what precise actions will result in my desired outcomes. But I do know that I can continue to act according to my faith. I do know that I can “do the next right thing.” I do know that tomorrow morning I can wake up and “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with my God.”

I will leave you with the benediction that I have offered for years as a pastor. Many of you will recognize it. In it is the invitation to “Do the next right thing.”

Go out into the world in peace;

Have courage;

Hold onto what is good;

Repay no one evil for evil;

Strengthen the fainthearted, support the weak, help the suffering;

Honor everyone;

Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

By Rev. Brian Heron, Presbyter for Vision and Mission, Presbytery of the Cascades

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