Lately I’ve been finding new ways to think about what Jesus meant when he spoke to his disciples in Matthew 6:11 and “Give us this day our daily bread…” Since the wisdom gained from this pondering has added some enjoyment to my life, I thought I’d share it with you and see if it can help you too.
Certainly the obvious answer to the question, ‘what is Daily Bread?’ is that it’s simply the food we need for our sustenance, without which we wouldn’t survive very long. But is there something more to the story? Can the concept of “Daily Bread” help us appreciate our lives and all that God has provided to us beyond just the basic concept of food? I believe so.
For me, Daily Bread has actually come to mean spending time with my family — being totally engaged with them and truly enjoying life in the present (and precious) moments that we share together each day. On those days that I am able to enjoy Daily Bread with my family, I find myself intensely happier and more satisfied with life. On those days that, for whatever reason, I am not able to connect with my family (whether that be because of work obligations, illness, etc), I find myself unfulfilled. That’s why when I say the Lord’s prayer now, when I get to the part about Daily Bread, I visualize my family (ok to be specific I actually visualize us sitting at the table eating an enjoyable meal together so the concept of food is still there – haha). I earnestly pray for this God’s favor in granting me the opportunity to enjoy this Daily Bread each day and I am grateful when the prayer turns into a reality.
I wonder – what is YOUR Daily Bread? Is it similar to mine or do you have another ‘want’ that makes you happy?
Did you know that the Book of Proverbs also addresses this topic? Chapter 30: 8-9 states “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say “Who is the Lord?” OR I may become poor and steal and so dishonor your name.” I often think about the wisdom of these words and the perspective it provides on the scale of importance between the quest for money vs. the need for daily bread.
There’s one final piece to the puzzle that I find interesting and it comes from the psychologist Abraham Maslow who gave us his famous “Hierarchy of Needs” shown here. One could make the argument that wherever you are currently at on Maslow’s pyramid of needs fulfillment, perhaps that is what you would consider to be your Daily Bread? If that’s true, it’s possible I am right in the middle where the relationship needs sit and given the importance of my family to my happiness I may well remain there my entire life. However I tend to think there is room for the concept of Daily Bread to encompass more than just one level of the needs pyramid.
What do you think? Where on the pyramid is your most important Daily Bread right now? Do you think it changes over time?
Thanks for visiting with me today. I hope you enjoyed the discussion.