What Next?

“What next, Daddy?” asks my sweet little girl as we play in the yard, her eyes glistening with the joy and anticipation of an exuberant three year old.  Her name means “Life.”  And she is full to the brim.

Today, my close colleague and partner emerged from weeks spiraling down the rabbit hole.  He found a problem and pulled at it, only to discover a rats nest of trouble.  That dogfight wore him to the ground.  No one is happier than he to finally be able to move past it and ask, “What next?”

“What next?” is a good question.  A much more difficult question is, “What now?”

“What now?” is a question you ask  when your ship hits an iceberg.  “I lost my job… what now?” ” I’m all alone… what now?”  “My basket had a hole in it and my eggs are gone… what now?”  “What now?” reflects the fears of an anxious heart. It’s saying, “I’m not sure of my trajectory.  I don’t know where I’m going to end up.  I don’t know what to do.”  To get your bearings back, you have to change that question to “What next?”

“What next?” is the question you ask to move forward.  It starts with just baby steps; until you gain confidence in your gait. “What next?” gets bolder.  Pretty soon you’re saying, “I’m ready.  Hand me another brick.  I’m building something here.”  And once the wheels are really in motion, “What next?” becomes less of a question and more of a statement:  “Let’s do something.  Let’s go somewhere.  For’d harch!”

I dare you to move.

“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”  Ecclesiastes 11:1

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