“God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which 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 hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen” (Reinhold Neibuhr).
Most people know this prayer, at least in part. Those who have been through Alcoholics Anonymous or some other kind of recovery program know this prayer very well.
I’m not attending AA, but I think this prayer speaks to my heart and to where I am at the moment.
My idea of happiness is that the world I live in will always be as I would have it and that I could obtain that supreme happiness in the here and now. It almost never involves hardship or suffering of any kind.
This prayer reminds me once again that it’s not about me. This life and this world don’t revolve around me and my wants and needs. However, I can make a difference both in my life and in the lives of those around me.
I’m still getting better and living one day at a time and enjoying one moment at a time. It seems my automatic default is to want to hurry on to the next season of life, which currently for me is fall and cooler temperatures.
This prayer teaches me to see things as they are, to step out of my fantasies and my dreams into the world that is, yet to not resign myself to it. By living in it as it is and being wise to know where I can make a difference, I do my very small part to make the world better than it is.
I think the two key words that are jumping off the page at me tonight are trust and surrender. If I can grab hold of those two concepts and really let them sink into my DNA, then I believe the rest of this prayer will follow.
May this be our prayer going forward to see that if there is to be any change in the world we live in, it must and will begin in each of us.