Is it possible that living one-day-at-a-time was an approach designed for all of us to live out our best, most-balanced, most productive, healthiest lives?
Maybe it was never intended to only be a go-to prescription, custom-fit & dispersed only to those of us living lives in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Or only applied to the lives of people who are purposefully recouping from admitted inner-struggles with things like profound amounts of fear, worry, anxieties, and other more specific disorders.
I feel like it is reasonable to assume that we are all supposed to be grabbing life by the horns, in twenty-four-hour (or less) increments.
But what if you’re a person who has never even come close to being in the depths of a trench, or have never been stuck in a place where it is imperative to your survival that you acknowledge your areas of weakness?
And what if you are a person who is still somehow coasting along living your day-to-day life with your masks fully intact, and thus far you have somehow miraculously escaped having to quarrel with life on life’s terms, face down on hot pavement, begging God to save your life?
Even so, I still think that maybe all of us are supposed to be embracing the one-day-at-a-time mentality.
Not because we all need a program, but because we all struggle and experience hurt.
And also because life really doesn’t care whether we proclaim a membership to a certain group or club or program, it doesn’t matter whether we are willing to admit that we aren’t actually in control of everything or not, and none of this requires that we publicly acknowledge that we have too much to handle in order for it to feel like we might have accidentally been given too much to carry on any given day.
A few Sundays ago we took communion at church, which is not a regular thing for our non-denominational church. That morning, our pastor spent some time during his sermon drawing parallels between some of the important things Jesus said to his disciples, our need as humans for emotional & physical daily sustenance, and how this all relates to bread.
What began as simple note-taking during this particular sermon has developed into a few days of tiny epiphanies, and me over-thinking bread in general.
Throughout the Bible, the cooking, serving, offering and eating of bread always holds significance and has specific meaning. But for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus here:
- Jesus told his followers, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) During Biblical times bread was important to every day life. It was expected at meals, was used to show reverence and respect for dinner guests, and as daily sustenance; a companion to feed large families daily meals.
- Wikipedia tells the internet that “bread is considered a staple food, and throughout recorded history it has been popular around the world and is one of the oldest artificial foods, having been of importance since the dawn of agriculture.” Bread has been a food companion and has held a prominent place in secular and religious culture for a long time.
- The Serenity Prayer suggests to us that Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; and accepting hardships is the pathway to peace.
- The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer says: Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. For Jews back in the day, bread was a staple in their diet. Jesus wanted the people he was talking to, to understand that they needed Him, everyday, like they needed food. For survival; that He would provide to them everything that they needed to make it through any given day.
- We are also reminded in Matthew 6:34: So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. To me that sort of sounds like a suggestion to live one-day-at-a-time.
- Groups like AA share slogans among the rooms that encourage the ODAAT life approach: “One hour at a time.. One day at a time.. One step at a time”, and “Wonderful things happen, one day at a time”.
Maybe we are created to live focused on the day at hand, relying on God to provide for us our needs for the specific day we are living.
He made it pretty clear and simple.
He is what we need and we need him every day.
He is our (low-carb, reduced calorie, whole grain, with zero artificial ingredient) miracle bread that we have been searching for. Except that his offer is completely free to us, and one-hundred-percent accessible, and within our reach in this lifetime. (Unlike our seemingly unending quest to find the most recent, relevant, most popular, usually fleeting, American ‘make me skinny and magazine like’ bread).
I’ll be honest.
Some days I am feeling like I am absolutely killin’ it, living one day at a time. Living my dream. Living in freedom. Living sober, but more importantly, living authentically. I know that it’s okay to acknowledge that.
But it is also important to affirm that on other days, I can feel like I am crawlin’ through the day-to-day, resisting the comparison trap in all realms of life, living one sippy-cup spill, one irrational toddler or teenager meltdown, or load of laundry at a time.
But either way – I have access to what I need and I know that I am just a messy human living my life. I can only live through exactly what I am living through at any given moment, and that’s okay. I have exactly what I need to do it and I am certain of the hope that I have.
So relax. Take time to appreciate and acknowledge gratitude for easier days and eat your daily bread. It can mean the difference between hopeless and hope-filled on the less than easy days.
“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson