Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 14, 2015

next right thing sunset

Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Today’s reading opens with a quote from one of my favorite authors: Mark Twain. “Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do.” [1]

Mr. Twain quoted several times about duty and self-discipline. Here is the second half of this particular quote: “this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Often, active drunks and druggies are nothing but unreliable. Unpredictable, and irresponsible. However, once the same unreliable people come into contact with a Higher Power, what a change can occur! This change people describe as “doing the next right thing.”

But, how one earth will I know what the “next right thing” is? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.” [2]

Duty and self-discipline are still ideas that make many people in recovery hesitate, and even cringe. But if we give it another name? If “duty and self-discipline” get called the “next right thing,” that can make all the difference in the world.

Yes, finding the “next right thing” can be a challenge sometimes, challenging us to keep in touch with God, our Higher Power. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” [3]

Duty. Self-discipline. Doing the Next Right Thing. With my Higher Power’s help, I can follow, one day at a time. One Next Right Thing at a time.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 14 reading.

[2] Alcoholics Anonymous (New York City, Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc.: 2001), 86.

[3] Ibid, 83.

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