Thankful for my daily bread

“Give us this day our daily bread” – the Lord’s prayer expresses gratitude for a simple, most basic thing. There are those struggling to fill their bellies today, even in the U.S., but most people reading this article likely have no trouble at least getting the most basic sustenance into their bodies on a daily basis. It’s difficult to be thankful for something if you take it for granted.

But most people, at least at some point in their lives, have gone without. I did not grow up in the United States, and where I lived as a young child, electricity would roll around every third day, hot showers were a rarity, and cow’s milk was impossible to find. Granted, I was a child who didn’t know what I was missing, and therefore really didn’t care all that much (except for maybe the lack of hot showers).

When I joined the military, I yet again found myself in a position where I was without. Food when I wanted it, for example – I lost 25 lbs in Ranger School, and for a 175lbs 21-year-old, I didn’t have a whole lot to lose. Sleep was often a luxury, and once again, hot showers were one of the greatest experiences on the planet. Basic safety on deployment is not guaranteed by a long shot.

There have been a couple other times when I’ve gone without since – working in the jungles of eastern Burma, again without a safety net. Taking the financial risks of starting a business or moving states for a girl and sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a couple of months.

Now I’m here, in a warm home with my family who has come from all corners of the earth to be together. I have electricity 24/7, a choice of a variety of milks, more food than I know what to do with, at least six or seven hours of sleep a night, several institutions that are relatively reliable in keeping me safe, and glorious, long hot showers on demand. I have my daily bread and a whole lot more, and for that I am thankful.

I am also thankful that once I went without, so I know exactly why I’m happy to have it now.

But at the end of the day, it’s that first thing that really matters. The most basic sustenance required, the bread for our souls, is the relationships with those we love. Sure, we don’t need a holiday to get together, but Thanksgiving is a great excuse to travel immense distances to be together. Be it your family by blood or friends who are closer to you than family, relationships are the reason why we need our physical bread in the first place. Without them, we would just be fueling ourselves into a joyless, meaningless existence – you don’t put fuel in a car if you don’t plan on taking it anywhere, and the only destination worth driving to is one with those you love.

So find those people, whether they’re your parents, siblings, children, or friends, bring them close, and be thankful for them – even if it’s not always easy. And if you don’t have such relationships, now you’ve been blessed to be given a clear mission and purpose in life: find someone or a group of people you can be close to. To belong to.

That’s the stuff of life. The rest are just details; at best they’re efforts to bolster the relationships or allow others to strengthen theirs. But at the end of the day, our daily bread lies within those we love.


Pictures from Pixabay.

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2 years ago

Thank you Luke, for a reminder that we have much to be thankful for.

2 years ago

God bless, Luke.

Susan B
Susan B
2 years ago

There is so much truth in your article, Luke. Without relationships that are meaningful, our lives would find little value in the material things. Thank you for the reminder of the things we take for granted…including our spiritual relationship. 🙂

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