You could spend a lifetime meditating on the meaning of The Lord’s Prayer. Indeed, you could spend a good part of your life meditating on the phrase, give us this day our daily bread. I got a brief glimpse of one of the many things that phrase means today.
As Debbie and I were finishing lunch with two of our three grandchildren (the eldest being in school), I remarked on the wind outside. Debbie said “Oh, great! Let’s go outside and fly a kite!”. “Good idea.” I replied. (While thinking, “Did I actually say that?”).
Five minutes later, I was assembling the 99 cent kite that had been sitting on our dining room table for the last week. Ten minutes later the four of us were out in the street learning to fly a kite, learning how to untangle the tail from a tree, and learning how to free the kite from the telephone wires above us.
Forty minutes of kite flying was followed by a few piggyback and horseyback rides. (There is a difference, you know) After that, the four of us sat down and played a game of Uno Roboto. Teaching an almost four and almost five year old how to play Uno is easier said than done. After that, we had about a half hour of “Grandpa school”. We did a craft project on the letter of the week….Q.
Sounds like another day in the life of a grandparent. It was. What was different was that I was actually able to relax and enjoy the experience. For the last 30 years, much of my time with my kids or grandkids was clouded by a preoccupation with work or other responsibilities. Even in the first eight months of my retirement, while watching the grandkids or playing with them, I was still in the habit of thinking about what else needed be done, what was next on the agenda.
You would think that spending hours on end with very young children would come naturally to someone who has already raised three children. The truth is that it has taken a while to adapt. Today was a breakthrough of sorts.
So what does this have to do with The Lord's Prayer or our daily bread?
I assume that when we ask this, we are not just asking to be fed physically, but mentally, socially and emotionally as well. I also assume that “our daily bread” is not just given in a one-way transaction. Bread needs to be seen (or recognized), broken and shared to fulfill its promise.
In living this line, one needs to recognize gifts when they are given and share them with those around you. The gift may be as simple as a mild breeze occurring on the day you happen to have a new kite sitting around or as profound as seeing a young child flying a kite for the first time.
Could something this simple be part of our daily bread? As Mr. Dylan once said, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”