Daily Bread August 22

Vacation Time
Tammy Lindle Lewis of Independence, MO, USA

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. -Jeremiah 31:33-34

Recently I visited a friend during my vacation time. We hiked in the mountains, visited the beach, and marveled at the power and varied colors of the ocean. We sat in awe at an ancient oak tree in a botanical garden, visited a church campground, and witnessed dedicated volunteers working to care for and preserve the grounds. We explored a mountain tourist town. We shopped and enjoyed delicious meals together.

The weather was perfect. The jacaranda trees were in full bloom. Hummingbirds zoomed past us and small lizards darted at our feet. The sights and smells blessed my soul. We were worn out at the end of each day. Enjoying sunshine and fresh air can cause a person to be blissfully exhausted. Each evening we recounted the day’s events between our yawns.

I visited during Mother’s Day. My friend’s son and daughter-in-law prepared a special home-cooked dinner for her. The aroma of fresh baked bread reminded me how hungry I was. Our meal began with a prayer of blessing offered by our host. Weary from a busy weekend, the opening line of his prayer captured our sense of feeling tired and made us all chuckle. With a big, deep sigh, “Dear God…I’m so tired…” he then went on to declare his gratitude for each of us and especially for his mother and the many lives she continues to shape. It was a brief, sacred moment of worship and thankfulness. I am grateful for this experience.

Perhaps vacations aren’t “ordinary” times. However, God’s Spirit was at work while I shared in a sacred meal and was awed by God’s glorious creation.

Prayer Phrase

“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

Spiritual Practice

Breathing God’s Compassion

Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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