Monday, January 19, 2015
Frequently things don't turn out like I want them to, prayed, hoped and believed they would. Sometimes it is because of my attitude, behavior, health, etc. and sometimes it is because of others attitude, behavior, health, etc. Whatever may be the cause, it is beyond my control as hard as I may want and try to control my situation. I've friends who work for a company or organization that have policies and procedures that they don't like because those things make their work more difficult. Other friends are in unwanted situations because of the choices and behavior of someone else, such as a spouse, parent child, etc. I've a neighbor whose health situation is such that he has to ask others to help him with the simplest of chores. Often the health of someone in our family creates unwanted and difficult circumstances for the entire family. I don't think I know anyone who has everything about their life exactly as they wanted and for which they hoped and prayed. When faced with life's difficult situations, we must accept and adjust if we are to have any sense of contentment or peace. By contentment and peace, I refer to that which the word and concept of Shalom describes. It is a peace in the midst of difficult situations. It is a gracious gift of God, not of our own works or doing. It isn't always a matter of hanging on or trying harder both of which assume my control of things. I find myself frequently in situations when praying the serenity prayer is the best thing I can do. The serenity prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930's and prayed in a small New England church he would attend while vacationing. As best that has been determined, in its original form the prayer was, "God give us the grace to accept with serenity things that cannot be changed; courage to change the things that 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 hardships as the pathway to peace. Taking as He did, this sinful 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 reasonable happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen."