It hangs on my wall and has been a presence in every social studies and reading video I’ve recorded. (Not in math though. Most of the time I use a fairly big white board for math so I have to teach math lessons from the floor.)
But with reading and social studies, I get to sit in a chair. The wall decoration hangs above the chair in my videos. I wonder if my students notice? Surely they do. I learned very quickly, as we all social distance, I’m always quite interested in seeing the background of videos. Oh, so that’s what her living room looks like. Huh, so that’s Tom Hanks’s kitchen. All that to say, I’m sure my students have noticed.
It’s a simple rustic sign which reads: Give us this day, our daily bread.
I find it ironic that all of us, me included, have been known to feel it necessary to pray these big elaborate prayers. But Jesus kept it simple when he taught us to pray. He kept it short. Does the Lord’s prayer even last a minute? I think He knew we humans have short attention spans. I think He was succinct in helping us see what should be the priorities of our prayers.
I used to be a planner. My goodness, I could plan with the best of them! And truthfully, I still prefer my hours, days, and months planned out. I actually am spontaneous once in a while now. I even say to my husband, “Do you want to be spontaneous?” And so we plan to be spontaneous!
Five years ago, I thought I had Friday, July 17 and most every other thing in life “planned.” It only took one crash-second-moment for me to realize, I didn’t have anything planned in life. My life plans for me, my children, my days were as shattered as the shards of glass which lay on my chest as I simply tried to keep gasping for breath.
Growing up, one of my father’s favorite songs was, “One Day at a Time.” I’d never really been a fan of the one-day-at-a-time-plan. A wreck and paralysis changed all that. Suddenly, I didn’t have a choice. There was no use trying to plan what next year would look like because I didn’t even know what that afternoon would look like. I was literally forced to live moment by moment. My only hope was God.
And now, as I look around (through my computer screen) I think humans are dealing with the realization I concluded a few years ago. We can’t plan. We don’t know. Where will we be by Memorial Day? What does the summer look like? Will my daughter actually get to live on campus her senior year of college? Will my son have a fall sports season? Will we even go back to school in August? Will Chad lose his job? Will I lose my job? When will the second wave hit? Will there be enough food to eat? Will my family make it through this alive? It’s just question after question after question with really no definitive answer. Lots of people think “their side” has the answer, but if we are being honest, no one really knows. No one.
No one, that is, except God.
God told us to pray for today. Today. Today’s bread and everything today’s bread symbolizes. Give us this day, our daily bread. Dear Reader, you and I could choose to get worked up about a whole bunch of issues right now. What about next Tuesday? What about next month? What about next year? I can do that with the best of them. But then I have to take a look at the sign hanging up in my bedroom. It is one of the first things I see when I open my eyes in the morning.
Give us this day, our daily bread. Lord, we beg you to give us what we need today. You know we will worry about tomorrow, but help us to just trust you for today, as each day has enough troubles of its own.
Today, Lord. We pray for bread, health, and others . . . today.
Until the next Wednesday the Lord allows.