"He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light."
~ Job 12: 22
How can we take what troubles us and turn that into something positive?
I think all of us understand what it means to have times when we feel powerless. Or that there are goals that we begin to realize we will never complete.
I have always hated "bucket" lists. It's one thing to have goals, or things you hope to complete before the end of life. It's another thing when you realize that the list will never be fulfilled and then find you are remorseful because the goals will go unmet.
Being realistic with life is something that we are all challenged to accept.
Years ago Reinhold Niebuhr penned 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.
Instead of creating bucket lists that can become unwelcomed guests creating anxiety, perhaps it's an opportunity for healing our hearts that seem to be driven.
Our restlessness calls us to look for the true inner peace that comes with accepting.
There is a lot of anxious energy in anxiety. When that energy can be directed toward loving well, we can transform not only ourselves but even those who might otherwise become the victims of our own drivenness. This takes patience, but it is possible.
Praying that the peace that surpasses all understanding becomes present in our hearts.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
**The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer authored by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971).
The best-known form is:
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.
Niebuhr, who first wrote the prayer for a sermon at Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts, used it widely in sermons as early as 1934 and first published it in 1951 in a magazine column. The prayer spread both through Niebuhr's sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.