Day by day
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
I love the musical "Godspell," written by Stephen Schwartz. One of my favorite songs, "Day by Day," has these lyrics: "Oh, dear Lord/ Three things I pray/ To see thee more clearly/ Love thee more dearly/ Follow thee more nearly/ Day by day."
It still gives me shivers when I hear songs from that wonderful production. But when I first saw it, I didn't have a clue about going to God with my daily problems and asking for help to meet each challenge. I thought God was far away and unapproachable. In fact, I thought all traditional religion was superficial and old-fashioned.
Later, during a difficult time, with a new job and new responsibilities, I watched a television broadcast of that show. The message that people could turn to God for answers to their daily problems, as a friend who loves you unconditionally and helps you find solutions even to the small things in life, was a revelation.
Why would God care about my daily needs? Compared to the bigger picture, they seem so trivial, but added up, they were really getting me down.
Then I remembered a quotation that was on the wall of a church I attended as a child. It was written by the woman who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, and also founded this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy. It said, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 494). Hey! That must mean my needs, I thought. I can turn to God for every need, and because divine Love is what it is not just what I wish God were I can trust Him with my problems, big and small. This started me on a new way of facing each day.
Now I don't hesitate to be on a "first- name" basis with God and to allow His loving care to meet every need not with just the larger, serious needs, but with the day-to-day problems, too.
Here's what the challenges on a day not long ago were about: too many commitments for the time I had. Would I get it all done? Would someone have to suffer because I was busy doing other things? "Help," I prayed, before I even got out of bed. "This is Your day, God. Please direct my path, and I'll try not to tell You what needs to get done. You are in charge."
There were the unknowns: My car was in the shop. Would they find what was wrong? Would it be expensive to fix? My daughter was to start a new job on Monday. Would she like it? Would they like her? Cars and kids is there any situation God doesn't govern?
Trust in God meets every unknown. Not blind hope, but a prayer that acknowledges God's authority and doesn't doubt the outcome of each situation to be good. Not as I have decided it should be (car fixed, daughter happy), but as His plan unfolds, I will see that intelligence and care are never lacking in the outcome.
Next, I had to break some bad news to my husband about a money issue. It was tax day, and I learned from our tax preparer that we owed more than we thought we would. My husband was not a happy camper. Stopping to really notice all that we had to be grateful for, including having the money we needed, prevented our spirits from spiraling downward.
Giving God a plateful of problems and expecting to see how He would help me meet each challenge reminded me of this passage from Psalms: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" (78:19) Mary Baker Eddy quoted that psalm, and she answered the question: "What cannot God do?" (Science and Health, pg. 135).
The timing of the day worked out like putting a puzzle together. When I was early for one appointment, I spent the time being peaceful and quiet, since I hadn't had as much time to do this earlier as I would have liked. When I pulled up to my house midday, the delivery truck with my tax returns was right behind me, even before I went into the house. Instead of fighting the limitations of time, I had plenty of opportunities, and everything went smoothly.
Unknowns were resolved: The car trouble was found, fixed, and under warranty. I couldn't call my daughter until almost bedtime, but she reported a good experience all around.
Time, unknowables, relationships, money. There isn't anything God cannot do. Day by day I'm learning to turn to Him in all areas of my life.