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The Frozen movies are weird. On the one hand, Elsa’s “Yay me! Let my inhibitions go!” song–as she nearly destroys an entire country with an unnatural winter–is a terribly odd anthem for a character who’s supposed to be a heroic Disney princess. And then there’s the metaphysics of Frozen 2, which is among the most poorly explained things in film history. Was the voice some higher goddess form of Elsa, and what exactly would that mean anyway? Or was it her mother, and if so why didn’t Elsa say, “Oh my gosh, hi Mom, it’s been so long”? Or was it something else?
On the other hand, Anna is a good depiction of selfless love, and Olaf even more so. Olaf is like Sam Gamgee, Neville Longbottom, and Ricochet’s @peterrobinson: He’s just the best. And then there’s the good advice from that little Troll: “Do the next right thing.”
Let’s talk about that instead of Frozen movies.
“Do the next right thing” is some darn good advice! How could you possibly go wrong following that advice? I guess sometimes you might not know what is the next right thing. But all the same, there’s a pretty long list of things a person could do next that are almost sure to be right things in most situations for most people. To name a few:
Eat an apple, thank G-d for apples, get a nice cup of tea, thank G-d for tea, get a good night’s sleep, take a break from social media, take a walk, walk the dog, sweep the floor, wash some dishes, go fishing, listen to wind going through trees (pine trees are excellent for this), listen to this Beethoven (I love the last part), listen to some other music you like, read a thoughtful post on Ricochet, read some C. S. Lewis, read a thoughtful Ricochet post, read the Babylon Bee, read The Adventures of Tintin, read some Charles Schultz, read some Tolkien, read some Shakespeare, watch some original Star Trek, thank G-d for these and other good things in your life, woo your wife if you have one, apologize to someone you owe an apology to, forgive someone, pray for someone you’re having trouble forgiving, donate to the Salvation Army, donate blood, try to think of some other way to love your neighbor, say a prayer for your neighbor, text an old friend and find out how he’s doing, think of some sin you should repent of, repent of it, pray for wisdom and then read Proverbs to find it, read Genesis, read Exodus, read the Gospels, read a Psalm, or memorize Psalm 23 (which @jamesdelingpole and friends are convinced demons hate, and I think they’re right).
Find the right thing that’s next for you–whichever it is, either from that list or from the very long list of good things I didn’t list!–and then do it.
Pretty good life advice. (Hey, does Jordan Peterson need something for another list of rules?)
I am pleased to say that I’m pretty sure the demon Screwtape in Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters would definitely prefer we stay away from all such good things, including the very everyday ones that aren’t overtly spiritual.
I am, however, very sorry to say that my memories were wrong on one point: I thought Oswald Chambers had said “Do the next right thing” before Disney said it. But here’s what Oswald Chambers actually said:
When the Spirit of God comes He does not give us visions, He tells us to do the most ordinary things conceivable. Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God’s creation, but whenever God comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural simple thing–the things we would never have imagined God was in, and as we do them we find He is there. The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression; we have to do the next thing and do it in the inspiration of God. If we do a thing in order to overcome depression, we deepen the depression; but if the Spirit of God makes us feel intuitively that we must do the thing, and we do it, the depression is gone. Immediately we arise and obey, we enter on a higher plane of life.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said–“Arise and do the next thing.” If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.
And that’s even better advice.Published in