Just Do the Next Right Thing

May 11, 2020

If you know Sr. Elaine Davia, the area leader for the Sisters of Bon Secours, USA, then you know that she definitely has a green thumb. As a nurse practitioner, she also utilizes her knowledge about healthy eating as she plans her gardens. Sr. Elaine provides today’s reflection, based on a recent gardening experience.Sr Elaine David, Sisters of Bon Secours

Just Do The Next Right Thing

The Saturday before last was beautiful, warm and sunny. So I ventured out with my mask and hand wipes to the market. I bought a variety of vegetable plants and a dozen sunny-bright marigolds.    

Full with excitement on my return home, I changed into garden clothes, applied sun screen lotion, donned my wide-brimmed hat and headed to the garden. It was a mess! Thick weeds all over, totally covering the strawberry plants and herbs and filling every nook and cranny of my large garden. My initial feeling was, oh my, I can’t handle this. It was too much, maybe another day! I prepared to take the plants back to the porch. But then the words from the movie Frozen 2 came to me.

“Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing

…When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing.”

So I returned to the garden and took the first, next step, pulling the weeds out of the strawberry patch, then on to the herbs, then, on and on. Three hours later all the tomatoes, peppers and marigolds were firmly situated in their special place in the garden and all smiled back at me.   

Foundational to discernment and the spiritual life is this proceeding with the light that is in front of us at the moment and taking action based on what I know at the moment with full hope and trust.  There are many unknowns about the effects of the COVID-19 virus which causes me to worry or sometimes feel this is just too much to deal with, too many “what ifs”. My time in the garden last week helped me to experience in a visceral way that I can do what needs to be done now, right in front of me. It reminded me not be anxious about what I have no control over. And even now, almost a week later, all are doing well, both all my plants and myself.