Daily Bread

The human mind finds the present moment to be intolerable. When not preoccupied with the past, our mind dwells on an imagined future. I have noticed two things about my mind when it begins to ponder future scenarios. First, there is always a big problem for which I do not have the solution. Second, my mind unconsciously accepts the future scenario created by my mind as inevitable, and I worry that I won’t have the resources I need to deal with the scary future when it arrives. In the midst of my worry, I lose touch with the Present–with this very moment that God sustains and gives me as a gift.

There is a story in the Book of Exodus about how God feeds the Israelites in the wilderness with manna, a flaky bread-like substance that daily falls from heaven as food. Moses commands his people to gather a one-day supply and to trust that God will send more bread the following day. Those who disobey Moses’ command find that the extra manna they gather turns to worms because they don’t trust God to send more the next day.

Faith is a deep heart-knowledge that God only gives a one-day supply. Perhaps God laughs when we ask Him to give us today whatever we fearfully imagine we will need tomorrow. “Can any of you by worrying,” Jesus asks, “add a single hour to your span of life?” (Matthew 6:27) This is an ironic question in an age when doctors tell us that worry and anxiety only serve to shorten our life.

Give us this day our daily bread, we pray. Give us our one-day supply.  “For I AM the Bread that came down from heaven,” Jesus says. “I give My Self to you afresh each day. This very moment.”