The Whole 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 hardship 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.
Strange Things Are Happening
Wrinkles. Slowing metabolism. Almost constant aches and pains. Physical changes resulting from aging.
Driving. Dating. Independence. Teen boys growing into adults. Life’s seasons usher in change.
Friendships fade. Marriages end. Busyness distracts. Life’s choices result in the rippling impact of change.
“Strange things are happening.”
So goes the song in Toy Story to reflect the pain accompanying life’s inevitable changes.
Change brings new excitement along with nostalgic longing to relive moments and feelings. Of course, regret shows up in the process of change too.
My heart aches from change at times. I can’t keep up, and my comfort zone feels tight.
“They say that change is good, but it isn’t.” (Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory)
Out of control weight gain. Families growing apart. Estrangement. No, change is not always good. But it is inevitable. Sometimes we can shape the change as it comes. Sometimes, we simply have to choose how we let change shape us.
The only constant in life is change. At least, that seems to be truth when the focus lies with how change challenges our comfort and expectations. We must learn to expect the unexpected and deal with change as it comes at us.
Fortunately, we have another option.
Change As a Catalyst for Transformation
My oldest resists change. He’d like the same meal routine week in and week out, and he’d also like to stay well within the realm of the known and expected at all times. Change visibly shakes him, but he eventually accepts and embraces it even if never becoming completely happy about it.
My youngest adapts quickly to change. He even seems to need it and to resist much structure. Change motivates him to activity, much like my morning cup of coffee wakes me up, but he fades quickly until more change comes.
Two extremes, yet neither fully functional. Expected, I suppose, in teenagers. Fortunately, maturity brings balance. While each of my sons reacts differently to change, both ultimately use it as a catalyst for progress and growth. They don’t stay stuck in their comfort zones.
Stability In the Unchanging
Though my boys respond to change in two very different ways, they both grew and matured through it because they also knew stability. They had structure and consistency in their lives as much as two imperfect but being perfected parents can offer.
That stability only existed in our family because God provides it. My husband and I didn’t. Our routines didn’t. The presence of an unchanging, holy God gave the only real stability and consistency that could exist in a world where all else seems to live in the unexpected even with our desperate attempts at controlling everything.
- Stability in a God whose character never alters.
“Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
- Stability from promises that never fade or fail.
“For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:37)
- Stability like a rock.
“My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3)
- The only light to guide in the storm of inconsistency and instability that is life this side of Heaven.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
Change is inevitable in this world. So too is God’s unchanging nature. Where do you place your focus?