As we sat down for dinner, my arm stretched uncomfortably across the table to grasp Mateo’s hand, we all recited The Lord’s Prayer. Even though I’ve said this prayer thousands of times in my life, the phrase: “give us this day our daily bread” particularly struck me. It was the word daily that caught my attention and my imagination. My heart was moved by the simplicity and utter reliance that a prayer for today’s bread, for this meal in front of us, implicated.
In recent weeks, I’ve been relying on God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for daily provision, support, and guidance. When I think back over many years of my life, I’m shammed to admit that often my attitude toward God was something along the lines of, “Thanks God, I’ve got it from here!” as I proceeded to live as if I were in control. Not right now! My morning prayer is for God to keep me close and help me rely on Him for everything. As I turn out the light at night, my prayer is one of thanksgiving that Christ has been graciously guiding and protecting me all day long.
This reorientation from contemplating, striving, and seeking to improve things on a wider scale, to focusing on the daily simplicity of life unfolding, has brought such peace.
We have very little control over our thoughts and feelings, they ebb and flow throughout the day. But, we can decide how to behave, what to do with our time, and intentionally pray for God’s guidance as our day unfolds. John W. Kleinig says:
Our work goes hand in hand with our praying, for we are daily called to work with God. When we pray for God’s support and guidance in our work and the people we work with, we live by His grace and rely on Him to do His work through us.Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today, pg. 199.
I love the idea of resting from the striving of modern life and instead let God do His work through me throughout the day. There is simply no area of life that God doesn’t desire to support and guide us through. Years ago I realized that I never prayed for help in managing my diabetes. Here I had this disease that required hourly monitoring and I’d opted to handle it alone for so long! Now, I pray for peace around my food choices, discernment when I’m deciding on insulin doses, and for overall good health.
I’ve been loving the book: The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson. It’s full of practical suggestions and inspiration for creating a home oriented toward God and love for one another. In the chapter for July, Sarah describes how reading great books can help a family to develop strong character through mimicking heroism found in stories and character. I loved the way she concludes the chapter:
This life, this single day, this one home is the setting in which we have the chance to remember and honor the heroes who have gone before us and allow their tales to draw us into a heroism all our own.
In the end, I believe, heroism is simply faithfulness, a moment-by-moment choice to do what is right – to love once more, to give without fear in the face of every challenge. Heroism is forged and known in such choices, whether in a blazing moment of courage or in the countless small moments of luminous, ordinary life. Let us pray for courage and grace to join the ranks of loving and brave people who have gone before us and, in so doing, take our place as part of God’s story on earth.The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming, pg. 163.
This season of my life is full of routine, which can sometimes lead to a feeling of dullness in the day-to-day. However, the mundane everyday is where my life is happening, where my children are growing, where our family culture is created through daily activities. Our relationships are grown through supporting one another when we’re struggling and cheering when we succeed, in acceptance when a child (or adult!) is cranky and loving cuddles while we read at night. When the day is long and everyone is tired, it is heroic when you dig down for the energy to cook a healthy meal and have patience with your family when the bath and bedtime routine drags on.
I’ve never been a big fan of Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble, probably because I didn’t want to think about today or tomorrow being fully of anxiety! But, I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom of Christ’s teaching on this matter. We are so much better off when we’re present in the moment, trusting that God is providing the grace and provision for this day, rather than worrying about tomorrow and therefore robbing today of it’s strength.
This morning, before my eyes fully opened, I started a morning prayer that just flowed from my heart: Lord, I don’t know what this day holds but I know what you provide daily: mercies that are new each morning and peace that surpasses all understanding.