God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
This can be hard for me. I am getting better at accepting things I cannot change. And I am getting better at changing the things I can. Where I struggle, at times, is knowing the difference.
Some years ago, a friend of mine, Pastor John Stringer, explained it this way; he drew two concentric circles. Inside the smaller circle is ‘my responsibility’….the outer circle is labeled ‘my concern’. Whatever falls within the smaller circle are those things I have some control over. What falls in the outer circle are things that I care about but, ultimately, have little control over. When he shared this with me, it was evident that I had spent a lot of my time and energy focused on those things I have no control over.
Now I try to take some time and access where my energy needs to be expended. Is the situation something I can do anything about or is it out of my control? Once I take the time to think it through, I am better at letting go of those things I can’t change or move forward on the things I can have some influence on.
Are there things in your life that you are frustrated by? Things you want to change but don’t seem to be able to? Maybe they are things you can’t change…you have no power to change. Consider weighing the circumstances by this standard…figure out what falls within your realm of responsibility and what falls within the area of your concern. If you can do something to change the situation, do it. If not, offer it up to God. This is the beginning of serenity.
Grace and peace,