I am continuing to think about change and to-day I offer some thoughts on the "serenity prayer"
The Serenity Prayer ( original form)
- God, give me grace to accept with serenity
- the things that cannot be changed,
- Courage to change the things
- which should be changed,
- and the Wisdom to distinguish
- the one from the other.
- Living one day at a time,
- Enjoying one moment at a time,
- Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
- Taking, as Jesus did,
- This sinful world as it is,
- Not as I would have it,
- Trusting that You will make all things right,
- If I surrender to Your will,
- So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
- And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
1. God's grace and strength is at the heart of living a "serene" life.
2. Obviously (to me at least) when I explore the question of change (in myself) I'm not interested in being a "Don Quixote" "tilting at windmills". I am thinking about those things that I can, with God's help, change (within myself) especially things that will make me a better person. And it is true that change takes courage (and persistence and faith and ... ?).
3. I would change the first statement slightly to say "today accept with serenity things as they are right now" (because "what is" can't be changed).
I think of the apostle Paul writing from prison when he says in Philippians 4:10-13
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I note in particular (paraphrased slightly) "in whatever situation (in any and every circumstance) I have learned to be content."
And it is this ability to be content in any circumstance that "can be done through Him who strengthens us".
First and foremost any change I desire in my attitudes is aimed at the "being content" wherever I find myself to-day even when I desire for a different tomorrow.
In a way this brings me "full circle" back to my "theme song" for 2013
I will live today in the moment. I will live today as if it were my last day here on this earth and I will dream and plan today for tomorrow because “Today is the first day of the rest of my life; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (cf.Psalm 118:24-KJV)