I’ll never forget the first time I had my first copy of Our Daily Bread booklet. I was on my first year in highschool, my mom and I were buying my getup for my christmas party. When it was time for my shoes, we decided to buy a pair at Celine. As I completed my purchase, along with the bagged shoes and receipt, the cashier handed me their Christmas giveaway — an ODB booklet. And that was when my daily devotion began.
Every night, since then, I would read the Scripture reading and reflection of the day. When I missed a day or two, I would make sure to revert to the previous day/s . This habit stayed with me all throughout my college years.
I remember how it inspired me and gave me hope during the challenging times I had at the university. It also made me grow in faith and love for God, and in understanding relationships and life. Because of these, I thought of sharing these blessings. I gave an ODB copy to two of my close friends back then. It only cost around 50 pesos per copy at the time.
When I graduated and earned my own money, my options for daily devotionals widened — from hard copies which I can buy at National Bookstores to online resources which are just at the tip of my fingers.
But as I try some devotionals, I noticed that my habit of daily reading became inconsistent. Months would even pass without me reading a single passage.
I observed that some devotionals were factual. They will explain to you the contexts of the Scripture readings, especially the Gospel. I appreciate this type of reflection as it makes me grow in the knowledge of the Bible. But in hindsight, it required more cognitive work for me.
That is, I have to understand the contexts and think of its relevance and application in my life. However, for my part, my mind is preoccupied with daily responsibilities. I could read passages without me truly absorbing it. I was like a soil filled with rocks and seeds, where God’s words do not take their roots. The fruitlessness of my effort was discouraging.
So I decided to return to where I had begun — back to ODB. What I like about ODB was the way it was written. It uses metaphor to drive its message. It’s speaking my language. A metaphor bypasses my intellect and strikes directly through my heart. That is why the reflections in ODB are really heartfelt, making the Bible passages and life lessons memorable.
I believe all devotionals are good, especially if it grows in the heart of the faithful. But I also believe that every individual processes information differently. Some are intellectual and factual, and some are metaphorical. So I’m just gonna choose what bears fruit in my life. That is, ODB and its metaphors.