Sunday, August 31, 2014

Daily Bread

Daily bread. Give us this day our daily bread. This petition is ingrained in my bones, repeated by me and my community since I was a baby. As a child, I thought it was about my next meal. As a young woman, I thought it was about a house for my family, a car to get to work in; things. In this life, I have been given every thing I ever wanted, and more. Now this elemental request of God is not about things. It is about my real needs as a person.
Give me this day my daily compassion. Give me this day my daily humility. Give me this day my daily desire to love.
In the "How much is enough" conversation, our society presses us to consider what we have as lacking. There is always a better car, a bigger house, a more fashionable wardrobe, a higher educational degree. Status symbols. But status of what? Status of accumulation? Are we better people if we have newer and bigger, or is that promise just a hamster wheel that leads to self centered self-occupation? Planning for our family's security, working hard for a comfortable life, that is not what I am questioning. I am questioning the priorities that leave us feeling that we never have enough, even when we do. Instead of growing into our true potential, we strive and sweat and work and lust after an empty promise. That things will make us happy.
In the quest for the good life, how much does it matter that we listen to the wisdom of all religions that urge us to live in the moment, spend our days in gratitude, asking only for our daily bread? Give us this day our daily bread. Bread just for this day.
I love the saying that we are not promised tomorrow, we are only given today. It takes the pressure off. How differently will I live if I believe this is my last day? I have often thought about that. And what does it mean, really?
Part of the machinery our society uses to block this truth from us is fear mongering. Our country is going to the dogs. Our youth are uneducated, violent losers. Well, some of them are. Some of them always have been. What if the answer to that is not more prisons, or more welfare, but more people living as if this was our last day?
Give us this day our daily bread. Give us this day our sense of peace that comes from knowing we have been given every blessing we need to wake up today. Give us this day the solace that comes from knowing we can never earn our perfection, we can never earn our worthiness. We are given it. We have only to claim it. Our daily bread.

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