I say the Serenity Prayer a lot. And by "a lot", I mean a lot! I have to, as things in life shockingly don't always go my way. So, I have to pray a bunch. I don't pray for things to go better for me or for other people. In fact, if I tell someone I am going to pray for them, I am not one who prays for cancer to go away or for a loved one not to die. I believe God has all of that part taken care of. What is going to be is going to be. Instead, when I pray, I ask for God to give me (and others in need) a sense of peace and serenity. I am asking for God to hold each of us in the palm of His hands while we endure whatever it is we are going to go through anyway.
Many of us have heard the saying, "Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional." I truly believe every single one of us is going to go through our share (I won't say "fair share", as that doesn't quite sound right, does it?) of difficult times. Loved ones die. We are diagnosed with cancer. Politics disappoint us. People we love disappoint us (and by the way, we disappoint loved ones too). We may not have a choice in any of those matters. What we do have a choice about is how long and to what extent we are going to allow that pain to control us.
Our priest preached about Job today. She said that Job had it pretty good in his younger years, lots of cattle, lots of kids, a loving family, etc. Job was living the dream. In other words, it might have been easy to believe that God was alive and well during those times. But what about once Job's oxen were killed and his fields were burned? What about once all his children died and his body was plagued with sores? His wife even tried to say, "Dude! Maybe it's time you agreed that this God you believe in might not be there for you!" But Job still believed. Our priest asked us how we can receive the good from the hand of God without accepting the bad will sometimes come along as well?
I look at it like this: life is all about acceptance. The stuff in life is going to happen whether we gripe and complain and live our lives in worry and misery or whether we see life as sunshine and rainbows. Stuff is going to happen.
Acceptance doesn't mean I have to like every single thing that happens to me. Acceptance means (for me, anyway) that no matter what happens in my life, I am still going to live a life of integrity and conduct myself the way God intended me to do.
Just for today...I will try to remember these words of wisdom.
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