Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 267 Accept or Fight...

Dear Friends,

The Alcoholics Anonymous serenity prayer has taken on weight with me. "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."

The first part of this well known, oft quoted prayer is best summarized with one word: surrender. Some of the vexations and anxieties of my life that I have "done war" with for many years, and others that have more recently come into my company, fall into this category.

Alot of the troubles we contend with are really those "crosses" Jesus spoke of in MT16:24. Over the past 9 months I have found a greater joy in walking the unpredictable pilgrim road with God. But it has been the sorrows, the aggravations, the frustrations of those "things I cannot change" that have driven me to the place where, in my complacency, I should have been all along. Here is the rub: Whether to fight mightily on the battlefield of prayer and action to toss away the heavy boulders of painful circumstances -or to pick up the stone and carry it; to grow stronger in the heavy lifting, and to depend more vigorously on the strength of the One and Only to bear the load as we go. This is the cosmic question for which there is no formula. It must be figured out in the process of relationship with God.

It is glory at the end of the matter to persevere and endure those burdens sovereignly given to keep us only inches from the Great One. In the final analysis, if we graciously carry those crosses we are meant to carry, there will be great profit. This is where the attitude of surrender slam dunks.

The second part of the serenity prayer may be even more difficult for me to activate. It is said that courage is not the absence of fear, but acting rightly in spite of it. Often there are burdens and anxieties I drag around with me because I haven't the courage to change. On of my most spectacular defeats has been in the area of focus. I am weighed down by nervousness, not finishing a first duty, prioritizing wrongly and wasting valuable time in the paralysis of fear. These are conditions where self made crosses, never meant to be taken up, have brought ruin to many a man. What things vex us will look different for everybody. (If you're like me, you may be running more than one special at a time). This is where we must buck up and stand and fight with all the power God provides. This is where get on our feet and wrestle for our freedom. In the book of Hebrews 12:12&13 it says:

"Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame will not be disabled, but rather, healed."

Courage to change the things we can change will not only set us free, but will lift up some other lame folk in this upside down world.

The final act in the serenity prayer is essential. Only God can show a man which are his right and acceptable crosses, and which are needless burdens and sins that must be ruthlessly cut down. Again I am brought back to the place where I knew I would wind up - abiding closely with the Only One who can provide the wisdom to sort these things out.

Anyway, this is the truth of my life on the pilgrim road today. Sorry for the wordiness. You know how it goes. Tomorrow I might be kvetching about my exploits at Walmart... One never knows....

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog-here's the rest of that prayer.....
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. Amen.