“Give us this day our daily bread.”
I’ve carried around this ancient prayer passage as I’ve attended to the day’s tasks.
Yesterday I foolishly imagined that today would be spacious, a day without demands, a day to spend however I pleased. Instead, Max, who is still not well, put me into motion early. I know Max is very sick because — among other symptoms — Max, who loves bread more than meat, refused to take a bite of my morning toast.
So Max is spending the day at the clinic, being pampered and treated by a veterinary team that adores him. Max is always glad to see old friends, though today, Max was counting on a short visit rather than an all day affair. But with his weight now down 5 to 6 pounds, Max needs a solution soon. And though we learned the source of Max’s problem on Monday, it’s taking a little effort to put Max back on the road to recovery.
So the day that was to be spacious has been full of tasks, included the dreaded monthly grocery shopping. Other shopping, much more satisfying, took me to two different locations for the purchase of bread. I buy our everyday sandwich bread at Big Sky Bakery in Nichols Hills. Then I shop at a local Vietnamese supermarket for fresh baquettes. These miniature loaves are the best bread bargain in town at thirty-five cents each. And from the looks of my bounty, it’s easy to see I went a bit overboard.
I am comforted by the smell and taste of bread. I serve few meals without it. But as I moved through the hours of the day, I began to think about bread as a metaphor for other everyday necessities. Right now and for the next few days, Max’s daily ‘bread’ will be IV fluids, as our veterinarian attempts to stabilize Max’s electrolytes. For me, it’s a bit of quiet time in the morning, usually with some reading as a source of spiritual nourishment. Then later in the day, crazy as this might sound, it’s sweeping all my downstairs floors. It’s amazing how much better I feel about life with tidy floors. In some mysterious way, clean floors allow me to face whatever else life wants to throw at me.
I share this same sentiment about Jesus the Christ, who dared one ancient day to tell this outlandish bit of good news to any who would receive it: “I am the bread of life.” Just like manna, there’s no reason to stockpile the bread of life; it’s always in my pantry when I need it.