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Posts Tagged ‘#whatyoucannotchange’

Serenity

calm, peaceful, untroubled

“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.”

A well-known poem, whose words flow off of our tongues without need for brain to be in gear.

The Serenity Prayer is credited to Reinhold Niebuhr, a pastor, ethicist, editor, and contributor to just war thinking.

This Serenity Prayer, when read with all cranial cylinders firing, can appear rather pie in the sky, idealistic thinking (dreaming). It’s author would be the furthest sort from an idealist, for Reinhold Niebuhr was a total and complete realist.

So how could one, who claimed to be a realist, pen such idealistic thought?

Maybe it is because we are really only familiar with the first part of the poem, and not the work in totality?

The second half of the poem takes the lofty idealism, and shares the goals by whose hands they are placed into …

“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.
Amen.

The other day, while talking with my mum, she shared the sense of peace and acceptance that she felt the day, in April, she was told she had cancer. She spoke of how unbelievable that peace was, how filled with acceptance that this was not something she could change, that she could do anything about.

What she was describing was letting go, surrender. Not surrender to an evil force, but surrender to the only one who we can trust to make all things right, if not in this life, in the forever to come.

It is not an absence of conflict, trouble or stress where serenity lives, but a surrender of our days, our lives to the Prince of Peace. That is true, realistic, serenity.
 

“all to Jesus, I surrender
all to Him I daily give.
I will ever love and trust Him
in His presence daily live.”

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