only our daily bread

Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or grace received.
{C.S. Lewis – The Weight of Glory}

Today I am trying to soak up those words, anchor them into my wandering heart, and live each day as Lewis suggests.

My head is swirling full of doubts and fears about what the next weeks, months, years will hold for us. We’re infants in this grown-up world. Every small decision seems to have ramifications that will help or haunt us for the rest of our lives. We’re not living life for this week, but rather borrowing dreams from the future to fund our perseverance today.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
{John 16:33}

If these passages can be my refrain, promises of life abundant here and now and forever … If I can lay down the future on an altar, and watch all of my fears burn to dust – the sweetest sacrifice the Lord knows, I would think … If I can take seriously the promises made and kept to me long before I arrived on this earth, or before I breathed my first sigh of anxiety or fear … then, perhaps, I would know contentment.

My prayer for this encroaching holiday season is a simple one: to live fully, completely, utterly in the moments – the moments when we’ll travel back home, we’ll be with the people we know and love the most, we’ll sink into familiar couches and drink familiar beers and laugh at the same jokes we’ve laughed at for years. Those moments are precious, and those moments are everything. Every day is a fight toward and for and against the future; my soul is weary of fighting, and ready for rest. Perhaps that rest will transcend, will carry me back to this midwest town after a month of travels, and will sit with me in the stillness of these days that are ruled by anxiety, not trust. Fear, not faith. Worry, not peace. I long for something different, something more.

Here’s to a holiday season – and perhaps, a life – lived open-and-empty-handed.


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