Today I sat at a coffee shop for two hours with a practical stranger. By the end, we hugged goodbye—parting ways on the promise to meet again soon and hoping we’d both beat the rain home. (Neither one of us did).
Our encounter was work-related; we needed to iron out some details for a book project I’ve been hired to work on. We sipped our drinks, sitting under an umbrella and soaking up the impending storm’s breezes. With every piece of the conversation, it became clearer to both of us that we weren’t positioned together in time and space by chance.
For months, I’ve been asking God to show me the very next thing that he has for me. Again and again he has provided moments of clarity—times where I’ve known without a doubt that I was encountering my next thing. Each time, these moments have been seemingly small: a conversation, a weekend commitment, a lunch date.
Recently, God showed me something new—what the very next thing was not. It was an odd thing, because I’d been asking God for clarity. So when an opportunity popped up out of nowhere, I assumed that must have been the next thing. Right? Wrong.
As I sat across from a potential employer, holding my coffee and squinting as the sun beat down on my face, I thought that it would be a mistake to take the second job. But I also thought I would be making a mistake to reject it. Deep down, though, I knew that my compass was telling me no. It came in whispers, but they were heavy anchors in my stomach. It was hard to say no to what seemed like a wonderful opportunity, but it was easier to sleep at night after I did.
I went on, not thinking much about the next thing. After all, I already had my steady ghostwriting job, photos, and YouTube. I didn’t need anything else—that’s why God stopped me before. Right? Wrong.
I learned why God stopped me from the earlier opportunity at the very next table. He stopped me from that thing because it would have stood in the way of this thing. That is, the very next thing.
I’m not sure exactly what it looks like yet. I only know that, when I sat down, it was to talk about work, and when I left, it had transformed into something much bigger. It had become not work, but a lifestyle. An opportunity to meet people, learn from them, and share their stories. A chance to change the way that people live their lives.
It became a chance to do the very thing I’ve been hoping to do my whole life.
Today’s very next thing will impact me forever.
Imagine if I’d missed the message, ignored that gut feeling. My very next thing, which may become so much more than just the next thing, may never have happened.
Listen to yourself. Listen to the God who knows the way. Lean on Him, and in all that you do, seek the very next thing that he has for you. It may not come to you as it has to me, and it surely won’t be the same path. But if it’s from God, it will be clear. It will be right. You will know when it is the very next thing, and when it is not.
Tune in, friends. He wants to show you the very next thing.