“Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.”
from the long version of the serenity prayer
“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the [people and] things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship 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 reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
When I first came into the rooms of AA I learned the long version of the serenity prayer. I clung to it every day as I focused on not taking a drink. This one prayer got me through the roughest moments of the first year, and 5+ years down the road of recovery it still helps to soothe my weary soul far beyond any temptation to drink alcohol.
I have been extremely challenged this year to stay positive in spite of all the negative people and events that I cannot control. If I fail to remain positive most of the time, I suffer the consequences physically, emotionally and spiritually. This bleeds outward and can easily damage the relationships with those that I love. A couple of months ago I was reciting my morning prayers, struggling to make sense of events in our country. I noticed and digested this one line of the prayer that I had barely noticed previously: “Taking, as he did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it”. It’s funny how you can see the same words every day for literally years but not spend any time pondering what it means to you. Well, on that day and every day since I focus on it, as it truly helps me understand that a portion of what I must accept just might be what I inherently deem completely, utterly unacceptable. The ‘learning opportunities’ just keep on coming…
With all of the times I have wrestled with acceptance, these past few months have me stretching farther than ever to do just that. This one sentence gives me the strength and courage I need. I am able to react differently to that which bothers me as I literally speak it out loud (fortunately my husband humors me as I do!). I feel the stress caged up in my body relax as I take this pause to ‘check in’ with God. It breaks the tension, I find something to laugh about and move on.
Maybe I haven’t been here long enough, but I’ve not heard others talk about this specific part of the serenity prayer. I am curious to know if or how this sentence has meaning for you. Please feel free to share on this or any other topic.
Grateful to be of service this week,