“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
Apologies in advance, some people have really been blessed by the serenity prayer, and a prayer is a prayer, I don’t wish to complain about a prayer, but I have to say that in my life personally, this prayer has just never worked properly.
Serene means to be calm, peaceful, and untroubled; tranquil. It is also an old-fashioned word that describes the vast expanse of sky or an ocean, thought to be peaceful, tranquil. Somewhat funny, I’ve been out on the ocean, staring up at that vast expanse of blue sky and it is anything but serene. Quite terrifying actually. In fact, we call it the wild blue yonder and “wild” is the precise opposite of serene.
Than there is the issue of how life just seems to just pitch me curveballs, things that would be immoral to accept. There are many immoral, wrong-headed things that I really must “accept,” but I can’t, not really, not deeply, because they are in fact, wrong. Nothing I can do to change them, but they are still wrong. Unacceptable.
Which brings me to courage, courage not being something I really lack, not when it comes to changing things. Now the courage to not fix things, like when God says so clearly, don’t touch that, that’s challenging. The courage to stand by and simply bear witness to someone’s self-destruction, now that’s hard. That’s a different kind of courage all together. Changing the things you can is easy, not changing the things that aren’t yours to change, yowsers. That one’s hard and painful.
It ain’t so easy to standby somewhat powerless and just let things run their course.
Since I am in the process of murmuring over a prayer, melodramatically lamenting this worldly great offense, even wisdom doesn’t work for me. Wisdom can be really painful too, like when you are wise enough to know how the story ends and it just ain’t so good. That is a rather tortuous state of being. I actually pray not for wisdom, but for the bliss of ignorance, and if there is any wisdom needed in this situation, may God carry that burden for me. It is simply to heavy.
A saying I like much more than the serenity prayer is “you do what’s possible and let God do what’s impossible.” Now that one soothes my soul, it reminds me I am not alone, that God is in charge, that teamwork is important, and that I needn’t try to carry burdens alone. Heck, with Him in charge, I needn’t try to carry burdens at all.
Now that’s true serenity. Too many “I’s” and “me’s” in that serenity prayer. Lord, you do the impossible and I’ll just do my best to pick up my end of the twig.