“Give us this day our daily bread.” – Jesus, Matthew 6:11

I would do the things Jonathan Martin described he did in his dreams.  I would go out and fill my gas tank and run errands just as God offered his presence, conversation, and coffee.  I would determinedly make ice cream sundaes and clean rooms in my house no one would ever see just as God sat down with a listening ear.  I would do these things because I am transfixed by the then, the there, and the that.  I forget about the this, this moment right now.  I am someone who, mostly subconsciously, ends up thinking I am critically important to the world, or at least my part of the world, continuing to function.  So what an incredible relief it was not only to hear that I’m not alone in that thinking, but also to remember, as Jonathan shared, that I am not the creator and sustainer, but the creature for whom there is bread, sustenance, and provision, for this moment, on this day.  What an incredible relief to realize that “if we will attend to this moment, God will attend to us.”

We collectively exhaled last night as we practiced.  Our shoulders released and our fists opened as we kneeled together before our Father as small, weak souls.  Even as our knees ached and our backs curled from all the unnecessary weight we carry that is God’s alone, we felt relief.  We experienced the reality of who we really are: small, creaturely, and dependent.  All the things we try not to be most days.  What an incredible relief it was to be honest with each other and ourselves.  What a weight lifted, to remember that every breath, every inhale, every exhale, is given to us by this great sustainer and life-giver, our Father.  And what a gift, then, to open our hands to receive the daily bread from our Father who loves us and to pray Jonathan’s prayer for daily bread:

I do not ask
for some future bread.
I do not ask
for some lofty thing.

I ask for nothing more.
I ask for nothing less
than primal provision.

For this, and this – only this.

I do not ask for then.
I do not ask for there.
I do not ask for that.
Only this meal – this moment.

For this day, only.
For this, and this – only this.

Would you join me in practicing this exhale this week – the kneeling, releasing, breathing, receiving, praying?  May our Father grant you the courage to be small and the humility to be attentive to this moment on this day.

My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.  (Psalm 131:1-2)

Amen and amen.