Sunday, September 25, 2016

+ serenity +

"God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, 
And wisdom to know the difference." 

I've never liked the Serenity Prayer. 
This probably sounds terrible, but it's always felt kind of contrived, even a little silly... Perhaps because - at least in my opinion - it's been overused on coffee mugs and tote bags, and bandied about as some kind of a "spiritual-but-not-religious" mantra. 

Note: AA's use of this prayer certainly does not fall into these categories, and I mean no offense to anyone who values it in that context - or in any other. Just trying to share my own context up to now. 

So no, I've never appreciated the Serenity Prayer. Until last night. 

I had to make a very difficult decision this week, to leave a ministry I've been involved with for several years.

Have you ever experienced a moment when something became utterly, completely, crystal clear - and you know you've just been given the answer to a question you weren't consciously asking, but needed to? While on vacation recently, I was struck by one of those moments, and I instantly knew what I had to do. I knew it would be hard, and I knew it would upset some people I deeply care about - but I also knew there was no other way. 

Despite incredibly poor timing, despite not wanting to upset anyone, after I made the decision to step down, I felt peace. Peace is a difficult thing to live without, friends. 

I was out for a run last night, mulling over all of this, getting lost in my head in the midst of the miles, when the Serenity Prayer came to mind. 

Something finally clicked, and I saw the prayer in a completely new way.

I'd stepped out in courage to change something that was changeable. I thanked God that courage, and for having provided me with the wisdom to know it had to be done.

Grateful for God's gifts of peace, courage, wisdom, serenity - grateful that He is God and I am not, and that He provides in everything, even in ways and at times when we expect it least. 

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