An oldie but goodie. I went to this prayer yesterday in the shower. I must have needed its words of warmth and lightness. Not because of the shower, but because of all the things that always keep me from the shower.
This prayer is a mix of confession, gratitude and most importantly, waving the white flag of surrender. To me, it is cozy to re-visit, like an old fuzzy hoodie from college you have worn around bonfires and keg stands. It is one of those poems you may remember where you first heard it, or who initially introduced the two of you. My first taste was from my best friend in Jr. High. She copied it down on a piece of pale pink lined stationary with a wobbly manuscript of pencil. I still have it, that piece of paper. It is a pirate’s treasure. Scott knows this poem because he grew up in an AA home. Not quite as subtle as a piece of pink stationary.
Glass breaks a lot in our home. This week it was a glass french press we received for a wedding gift. Usually it’s just a drinking glass, but the occasional meaningful piece sneaks in. When the glass breaks, it shatters so far. So, so far. It doesn’t break and make a neat pile. It bursts into a million little dangerous shards and slivers that hide under rugs and refrigerators for months, waiting for the perfect toe to snag. When I break, I feel like glass. I don’t just break in my own little spot, tending to the mess myself. I slowly explode and feel like I may hit everyone within throwing range with my emotional shrapnel. This typically happens around 4 pm, when the wheels fall off, no one listens and everyone wants held and the caffeine has worn off. Or, it happens at night, when I just can’t bear the thought of not knowing what the future brings. Or, it just happens; I break, for no good reason or rhyme. And the pieces spread far, making it hard to clean up and move on at times.
When I shatter and spread – I know the only thing I can do is surrender to the moment. To slow my breath down and soften my belly. To admit that the glass has broken and to recognize that sometimes it is my fault and sometimes it is not. Sometimes it can be fixed and sometimes it can not. The difference is in knowing the difference.
Which brings me to the Serenity Prayer. If you know this poem, enjoy the visit back home. If you don’t, it is my pleasure to introduce you. Serenity, this is my friend. Friend, this is Serenity.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
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 reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.