I love them. I see myself in them. They are dreaming and hoping for bread.
Yesterday, a large, black crow landed on the street in front of me, square in the middle of an intersection. He carried in his mouth a large, dry piece of bread. He threw it down hard on the pavement; it broke; he started his meal.
The light changed, a line of cars came at him from both sides. He took up the main of his bread and flew.
We protect, our bread, the large piece of it at least.
When we are young, or old, our dreams of what we might yet get take up our focus – and while large things intruded such as the rise and fall of the economy — the flapping and gliding of our career paths, the loft and reach of our personal relationships, the competitive spirits of other people keep us moving, mostly.
A BMW ran fast in front of me last night on a freeway on ramp, cutting the line, forcing me behind its shiny, silver flank.
I have a sense of my right place in the line. I fumed a bit.
Nobody likes cutters. Such things cause fuming. For those who tend to take an interest in getting bread, and keeping it, and in getting some place, cutters aren’t fun.
I hope for a great hope, for something wonderful, in the future. I hope hard for something full of beauty and refinement for all of the young people I know, and even yet for the surge and flap of my own dreams.
Dreams keep me going. I hope for so much good for myself and my young friends. I love dreams of good, of bread, of water, of love, of finding a good place in the line, and of finding out what was meant to be.
But one thing stands out today, and it isn’t that pushing forward, or line cutting or bread protecting.
Often, what is needed, on the way to somewhere else, in the flap and drive and hope of something better, in the middle of ambition is something found in Psalm 131.
1 My heart is not proud, LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
David, perhaps on his way to being a powerful leader and a great success, calmed down his feelings. He settled his own emotions, he leaned into being weaned. In other words, he told himself that he no longer required the comfort he had before, perhaps from the family he came from, and that it was not his business, in the moment, to determine his place in the line forming up outside.
This is the task of the anxious twenty-something, and perhaps for many of the rest of us, to lean into the calm found in the present moment, to take charge of the tendency to be troubled by the not-yet-achieved future, and to choose to be content with the bread God has given us to throw down in our own intersection.
Contentment, self-imposed, on the way to being king, is good!