When I had free time, I didn’t know how to use it.
What was I going to do with all of my free time? My mind wandered over the possibilities: projects I’d neglected, plans that needed some “quiet thinking time,” and conversations that were probably overdue.
Earlier this week, my work calendar showed only two and a half hours booked in meetings and I honestly had to think through what to do with all that free time!
Many days are so full of meetings that I don’t do much else. It can feel like an endless cycle of going where I’m expected to go and doing what I’m supposed to do. Once the day starts, I have little idea or control over where it’ll end. The one thing I can be confident about is getting to do it again tomorrow.
It’s so easy to let life happen to us. Before we know it, hours, days, months, or even years can slip by, leaving us to wonder what happened, where the time went, and if this is all there is.
There’s a lot of great advice out there on taking control of our day, but for now I’d like to focus on one, simple task done right away in the morning.
Ask God for our daily bread.
How many times have we prayed “give us this day our daily bread”, but have we really thought about what that means? What bread do we need today? Would we recognize it if God gave it to us? What difference would it make if we had it?
Once I’m out of bed, in my chair, and have had a few sips of coffee so I can think straight, God and I talk about what I need today. I take out my phone and scroll through my calendar, looking at everyone I plan to talk to. Do any meetings give me anxiety? Are any conversations going to be difficult? Is it important that they have a particular outcome?
My God, give me this day my daily bread.
We look at my time helping the kids get ready for school and our plans for the evening. Are there places where I may struggle to be charitable and selfless? Are there situations where I tend to get crabby or withdrawn?
Please, Lord, give me this day my daily bread.
God and I discuss what a loser like me is probably going to do in the difficult moments in the day ahead and what a humble, meek, God-loving Christian should do.
Pray to recognize and receive.
My daily bread, then, is the grace to remember and respond throughout the day. God doesn’t give us our daily bread once; he generously gives constantly all day every day, giving what we need when we need it. This short and simple prayer helps me recognize what God will try to give me so I can cooperate with it when it comes.
This doesn’t make the day less busy, but it can make it less crazy. On one hand, we can be confident God will be with us as the day rolls along. On the other hand, our daily activities may be less exhausting when we realize they’re exactly where God plans to meet us… and save us!
Tomorrow morning, try spending a few minutes with God looking at the day ahead.
Ask God to help you recognize your daily bread and trust that he’ll give it to you!