Control that which you can.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
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.
Although known most widely in its abbreviated form above,
the entire prayer reads as follows:
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.
Eight years ago today we were all glued to the news, still shaking our heads, wondering what would happen next, praying, hanging our flags and making a point to speak to neighbors we never spoke to before.
We could not stop what happened, and as much as each person in some way wanted to do something in revenge, we didn’t know what to do, to whom or how we even could. So instead we felt sympathy for Middle-Eastern-Americans who were being harassed in grocery stores and extended them our friendship. We gave money to our fire departments to show appreciation for their bravery and sacrifice. We bought flag decals for our cars to benefit the widows and parentless children that 9/11 left behind.
What we did was make a small difference where we could.
Each of us our blessed with what’s called a “circle of influence” – an area where our contributions matter- at the core of that circle is ourselves. Our ability to control our behaviors, our actions and reactions, and to change ourselves is infinite.
We can fight disease and make ourselves stronger by being aware of our health risks, eating right, exercising routinely. Science has even proven we can fight dementia by continuing to educate ourselves daily.
We can expand our circle by using our new found strength and knowledge to help others:
by running in a Susan G. Komen Race and getting sponsors to help fund research for a breast cancer cure.
We can help a friend suffering from depression by talking about health research we have read and talking about our faith, or sometimes just be that shoulder to cry on.
We can teach our children, so they will teach their children, and we know they will teach and influence their friends along the way too.
We can realize in those times we are struggling financially that it’s not so hard to make do with less. And then when we ‘find money’ again it’s just that much easier to make more donations to the fire departments, the schools and the many non-profits that rely on the goodness of others to complete their worthy missions.
In the past few months I’ve met many people who have turned their unemployed time into volunteer time. And others using that new found time on their hands at the gym, working out their frustrations and realizing that the best health insurance, especially when you have no health insurance, is to work to be the healthiest you can be!
A lot has happened to each of us in the last eight years, the fear settled some, but unfortunately our patriotism settled too, and we all had job changes, moves, health scares, babies born, loved ones die, financial ups, and financial downs, moments our faith was weak, and moments we just trusted the Lord.
Two days ago I asked you where were you when the world stopped turning. But it didn’t stop did it? You are here and life has gone on.
Where are you now? What part of your life are you taking control of today to make your life better and what small differences are you still making within ‘your circle’ of the world a better place?