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The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change; (the past)
courage to change
the things I can;
(the present and future)
and wisdom to know the difference.
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This beautiful rose started as a beautiful rosebud with a broken stem. Colleen might have decided it was going to die anyway so why not just throw it out. The past can't be changed. The stem was broken. It couldn't be repaired. But she gave it a chance. The rosebud proved that the present and the future can be changed. It didn't die and it didn't stay the same. It blossomed. Thank you Colleen; thanks for your faith and the picture.
I never considered clarifying the Serenity Prayer until the Oklahoma Bombing. I was so mad. I went over to the small parchment plaque of the Serenity Prayer on my wall, I jerked it down and at first I scratched out the part about what we couldn't change.
My friend Deanna treated my action like an act of sacrilege. I reminded her the prayer was never a part of the bible. It still bothered her, as it may some of you.
A year or two later I took it down again and stared at it for a long time, trying to figure it out. I had prayed for the wisdom to know the difference and I wanted it almost desperately. It was like looking at one of those multidimensional pictures that I never can see the real picture in. Only with this one, finally, I got it. The only things we can't change are the things in the past. Everything else is up to us.
Everything. Our joy, our sorrow, our strength and our weakness..... everything is up to us. Since then, mostly I pray for more light and more courage. If you pray for me, please, pray the same.
The Complete Serenity Prayer! (original)
Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the 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.
- Reinhold Niebuhr
"The mind, once stretched by an empowering idea,
can never fully shrink to its original dimensions."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, paraphrased
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