...give us this day our daily bread.*photo by Denise Helms 2011
-Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray
When I read the words of Christ, I try to imagine the sand in my sandals, the hot middle Eastern sun beating down on my head. I try to imagine the smells of camels and donkeys and sweating fishermen. I try to feel that same swell in my spirit that these men and women must have felt while wondering is this the one that was promised? Will He lead us to freedom?
I imagine the bravery it took to call out to this teacher, this amazing healer, "Master, teach us how to pray!"
And then he begins, his words are simple but sweet, the prayer is short but beautiful. It is poetic and intimate and practical at the same time.
There are only a few things I pray for on a daily basis, and usually it isn't bread. I like bread and everything but not everyday. But everyday I do pray for wisdom, creativity and that God be with me throughout my day.
I am not a Calvinist. I think I want to be, but I'm not. It would be great to say "oh, this was all planned out before I walked this Earth so I don't need to worry about anything, my choices don't matter because I believe in the sovereignty of God."
Please don't get me wrong, I believe that God is sovereign and wise and powerful and above all things. But if I know myself and I know that if I threw myself into Calvinism I would do nothing. Make no choices. Rather than working to make the world better I would wash my hands and say that this is God's will.
I used to pray for God's direction in my life and abandon myself to His will.
Now I pray everyday for wisdom. I believe that, like a good Father, He has taught me how to make good choices and then gives me the opportunity to make those choices. He has taught me to learn from mistakes and failures, to pick myself up when I fall down.
At the end of all things I believe I shall stand before Him and give account of my life. If I only did what He told me then I'd have nothing to be accountable for. But instead I'll tell Him "Thank you for the wisdom you gave me...I did my best."
I believe He'll smile, and like a good dad will hug me and whisper in my ear "That's all I wanted, did you have a good time?" and we will sit and tell each other stories like I did when my parents would pick me up from camp and I couldn't wait to tell them about my week.