Friday, September 22, 2017

Five Minute Friday: ACCEPT





I'm linking up today with Five Minute Friday, writing for five minutes on a given prompt. This week's word is ACCEPT.

*************

We're probably all familiar with the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Familiar words -- yet packed with meaning.

Accepting what we can't change -- in other people, in our past or present, in ourselves -- requires serenity: a willingness to let go of our grasping and be at peace with what is, and what isn't.

Changing what we can requires courage. When we're in a challenging situation, often the only thing we can really change is our response. That takes courage, because it almost always involves facing the truth about ourselves and where we fall short, and that's never easy. (I think of this particularly in terms of parenting, the ultimate crucible.)

Knowing the difference between the things I can and can't change requires wisdom. It would be a lot easier if the answers just dropped straight out of the sky: "You can change this -- so get to work! You can't change that -- stop trying to force it!"

But the prayer asks for wisdom, not a prepackaged formula -- and wisdom always comes from experience. It's not a formula or rule. It develops through a process of making mistakes (something I am quite good at) and learning from them (something I hope I'm at least starting to do). 


*************


14 comments:

  1. This prayer is a good one to meditate on. I have something that I need to accept and let go. Thanks for your reflection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Carol. I'm really glad to have you here today.

      Delete
    2. Hmmmm. Well said. It must be on many people's minds these days. I can't imagine why! (Slight snark, there) yes. I closed my daily writing with that prayer yesterday. The trifold of accepting, changing, and wisdom, is challenge daily facing us all. Thanks for your great perspective!

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much, Gwen. I knew I was only scratching the surface here, but it really did get me thinking!

      Delete
  2. You are wise friend! You are the second post I've read today that referenced the serenity prayer. I'm in the 6 spot today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tara! I will have to find the other one; I'm interested in what she might have said. Have a great weekend.

      Delete
  3. That is the best explanation of the serenity prayer I've ever read, Jeannie. Too many times I've heard it used as a talisman or a joke, but never with the careful rendering you've provided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - can't believe you're saying that, Tim, considering this was just a five-minute blitz(ok I prob cheated, more like 8) off the top of my head. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. This is such a good prayer and I enjoyed your reflections. None of this is easy- we definitely need God's help and wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lesley. I agree with you. And I really like that verse in James that says if we lack wisdom we can ask God and He will give it. But I don't think it's some instantaneous divine download; rather, He'll help us become wiser as we go through situations and trust His guidance.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful essay on the Serenity Prayer, Jeannie. Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Andrew. Always good to have you here.

      Delete
  6. Thank you Jeannie for sharing the serenity prayer in this way. It is that knowing when I can change things or just change my response that can get me at times. Thank you for your wisdom. Have a blessed week!
    Visiting from 67.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean, Kelly. It's rarely spelled out for us in black and white!

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love to hear from readers, and I always reply!