I try to make the serenity prayer a daily prayer. Often, it helps me to get through the most difficult moments of my life. When life is out of control, this prayer reminds me that I am not supposed to be in control of everything, only God is! I am a very visual person. When I say a prayer I often have pictures to meditate on in my mind. One day as I was praying the serenity prayer I realized my definition of serenity was wrong!
I have always considered serenity as complete calm. While praying this prayer I was picturing a calm lake on a sunny day. It was so calm there were no whitecaps on the water. It was so calm if I was on a sailboat, I would not be able to sail due to lack of wind. I was stuck! This is not serenity! We need movement in our lives! Without progress we stagnate and then we seem to go backwards or become lost.
When I am the opposite of serene, I am frantic and in a panic. This frame of mind makes it impossible to make rational decisions. I finally realized that serenity is being able to make decisions while we are in the eye of a storm! While I prefer a sunny day on the lake, I always want there to be a breeze so the sailboat I am in will actually go where I direct it.
Serenity is being calm enough during the storm to know which ropes to pull to keep the boat from turning over!
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace
Taking, as He did, this world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him,
Forever in the next.
(Reinhold Neibuhr, 1926)
Help me make good decisions Lord. Direct my life!