Daily Bread August 30

The Miraculous Is All Around
Seth L. Bryant of Kirtland, OH, USA

Praise the LORD, all you nations!
    Extol him, all you peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD! -Psalm 117

Every time we take a hike as a family, I have a teenager who tells me, “I don’t like nature. I like technology.”

And I remind him, “You are part of nature.”

The universe about us is a miracle, but the mundane details of life can blind us to the miraculous. Our minds tend to focus on past mistakes or future tasks. When this happens, we miss the beauty of the present moment and fail to see our interconnectedness with the universe, with the miraculous. This disconnect is not healthy for our souls.

The great teacher Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to be mindful of the miraculous in everyday life. Of his teachings, based on the life story of Buddha, my favorite is his call to awareness whenever we eat a tangerine.

An aware person can see the tangerine tree, the tangerine blossom in the spring, the sunlight and rain which nourished the tangerine. Looking deeply, one can see ten thousand things which have made the tangerine possible. Looking at a tangerine, a person who practices awareness can see all the wonders of the universe and how all things interact with one another. -Old Path White Clouds, Parallax Press, 1991

Pause. Breathe. Notice. The miraculous is all around us.

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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