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Posts Tagged ‘serenity prayer’

I believe that much of our day to day struggle is rooted in trying to wrap our minds and arms around situations which are not ours to fix, and over which we have little or no control.  Indeed, I suspect that this is why so many 12 step programs begin with the “Serenity Prayer” (i.e. Lord, grant me the strength to change the things I can change, the patience to live with the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two).  Engaging in battles for which we’re not commissioned not only causes us to become exhausted and frustrated, it often results in us missing the opportunity to change the things we actually can.  It is akin to the person who is so preoccupied with solving world hunger that they fail to notice the hungry man they pass on the street.

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Most people are familiar with the “Serenity Prayer”, which goes something like, “Lord give me the strength to change the things I can change; the patience to live with the things I cannot; and the wisdom to know the difference between the two.”  And while this is not directly from the scripture, I have found it to be a very worthwhile approach.  Years ago, when I was wrestling with something that I could not change, the Lord said, “You’re trying to ride a bull.”  And while I certainly felt beat up by my circumstance, I wasn’t really sure exactly what He meant.  After some time of meditation, the Lord added, “I never created a bull to be ridden; a man came up with that idea.”  That image has remained vivid for me ever since.  Now, when I try to wrap my arms (and emotions, and energy…) around something that is not mine to control, I see myself on that bull, and I try to quickly let go.

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