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COMMENTARY: Serenity prayer

By Chaplain (Capt.) Meade Adams 2nd Bomb Wing Chapel


“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference” Serenity Prayer—Origin Unknown

One of the main reasons we suffer is that we try to control things that are out of our control. If we are honest with ourselves, that is the majority of life. The majority of our lives are made up of situations, circumstances, happenings that are simply out of our control. Nobody plans to get sick. Nobody orchestrates having a death in the family. Nobody coordinates scenarios that will drain their bank accounts. The simple fact is that life happens.

The prayer or saying above was made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous. It has been successfully used by them for years because it is a powerful statement. They recognize that a large part of addiction is related to the lack of control. We encounter situations in life that are out of our control and we turn to booze, or drugs, or some other negative outlet. The prayer invites us to release; to accept that there are things we cannot control and be ok with that. We will find that when we come to that place of acceptance we will experience greater peace. We spend too much time and energy worrying and stressing about things that we can do nothing about. I hark back to a phrase I used several weeks back: let it go, let it go and find peace.