“Give us this day...” ―Matthew 6:11a
“That’s what you should do.”
Lord, this is how it typically starts―your not-so-subtle calls, coming out of the mouths of my friends, family, and supporters. They hear me spout off on some idea, patiently listening, waiting for me to eventually (hopefully) gel my thoughts into some kind of coherent concept. Most often, they then nod politely, indicating that my hypothesis is not necessarily inspiring them the way it does me. But occasionally, seemingly accidentally (certainly not by my design―if it were, it would happen much more frequently!), my ramblings resonate and the listening party will exclaim in one form or another, “Yes!” then encourage me to develop and share the notion.
I’ve learned to heed these directives. They seem to coincide with times when I have already charged ahead on some other course and am fully engaged chasing whatever dream d’jour I’ve convinced myself will keep me out of trouble for the moment. Out of the blue, I’ll blurt out to someone, a nugget that seems completely off the path from where I’m focused; and that’s when you speak through them, “That’s what you should do.”
What? I’m already busy! I’m already doing what I think you want me to do. I have no time, I have other plans, I have…I am…resisting you. As a matter of fact, when such challenging invitations occur―when confirmed by scriptural scrutiny―I’m confident it’s you speaking into me via another vessel.
Long story short, Lord, I recognize you did it again today. A friend and I were sipping coffee and casually talking about, among other things, your Prayer, spoke by you in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. I nonchalantly mentioned the Greek word used for “daily” being epiousios which I had discovered translates better as tomorrow rather than daily and coincides with an Old Testament illustration. You provided enough manna…nourishment for the Israelites…to feed them for the day and also for the following Sabbath, so that the people could rest in your presence rather than worry about toiling, at least one day out of the week. So, when I say the prayer, that particular portion more often than not comes out as, “Give us this day, tomorrow’s bread.”
My friend stared at me for a moment before reacting, “That’s what you need to do! You need to write a book of devotions based on God providing what we need in advance of when we need it.”
I do? I remember thinking. I’ve already started on another new book idea and have spent valuable time in research. There are other people better suited to writing devotionals; that’s never been a “thing” for me. Besides, Patti and I are about to embark on a trip half-way around the world to visit our son and their family in Korea. When we get back, I'll have blogs to blog, I'll need to focus on ministry and work and…on and on. I can’t just up and switch gears; that would interfere with my personally pre-planned purpose. That would be against my practice of RUT Management, wouldn’t it?
Ordinarily, veering onto another course would be counter-productive, except of course when you offer a spiritual shoulder-tap to inform me I’m on the wrong RUT path and am offering more excuses for the “why not” rather than exploring the “why”. You are the only One so adept at pin-pointing those times. I’m coming to know your voice better, Teacher.
So, that’s what I should do. That’s what I need to do. That’s what I will do. And here it begins.
I’ll start with the very provision in the prayer that includes with your will being done. Lord, bestow to me this day, tomorrow’s feeding, that I can rest and reflect in it, dwell in it, learn from it and share it with any who desire to know you and your way, better. I ask, that as I go about my daily routine, you lead me beside still waters to nourish me with whatever wisdom you choose to reveal, that I may be lead on a path of righteousness, for your name’s sake.
Who knows, maybe this will resonate with others as well. That is for you to know, and for this servant to find out.