Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Serenity 101

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I Cannot change.

Most everyone knows this as the opening line to the Serenity Prayer. Quoted at most A.A. meetings and Celebrate Recovery, it is a well known part to those who are working a program. The heart and basis for the prayer is that God would bring to the one praying it, order and stability so that life could be faced and dealt with.
So much of the destruction from addiction comes from the chaotic thinking and running away from life. Too much emotional pain....guilt and shame.....not wanting to and not knowing how to deal with it.......escape.........get high. Unfortunately, this only creates more of the same so that the user finds themselves in an endless cycle of using / emotional pain / run away / use again.

The Serenity prayer is not a magic formula. Just because we say the words, doesn't mean that life is going to line up and I am going to be given incredible amounts of peace to deal with it. Let's take a look at the words of the prayer.

First word: God
Not a "god" of my choosing.
Not a "god" that I'm comfortable praying to.
This prayer is directed to the one and only God of heaven and earth. Creator. The three-part God....God, the Father.....God, the Son.....and God, the Holy Spirit.

I am asking God for something that I cannot create on my own. I am looking to Him to do for me what I cannot do for myself. Given me serenity...give me peace.

Second word: Grant
The word "grant" is defined as: To give or transfer from one to another a title or possession/ To permit as a right, privilege or favor.
In my praying, I am recognizing that God has the ability, the authority and the power to transfer from Himself to me, the very thing I am praying for.

Third Word: Me
You know yourself better than anyone (except God). You know the struggle you have faced. You whole using life has been centered around being selfish in a bad way. Now, for once in your life, you are granted the right to be selfish in a good way.

Fourth and Fifth words: The Serenity
I am coming before the living God to ask not for "some" serenity.
I am coming before the living God to ask for "THE" serenity. The kind that only he possesses. The serenity/peace that is going to set me physically, mentally and spiritually in a stable place. My circumstances may not have changed at the moment, but my ability to deal with them has.

Sixty and seventh words: To Accept
To come to terms with. Life, as I see it, is what it is. Life happens whether I am sober and saved, or I'm high and lost. So if life happens, I want to be empowered to not fight and struggle against the things I cannot change.

Eighth and ninth words: The Things
An open ended list that is not clearly defined. Why? Because everyone "things" are different. But the thought is that this God I have come to asking Him to do for me what I cannot do for myself, will empower me to clearly see those circumstances and situations that are beyond my control. Now this accepting of these situations and circumstances does not mean that we simply roll with the flow. It puts us in a place where we give God the very things we cannot change. We allow Him to be God in our life.

Tenth and Eleventh words: I cannot
A recognition of our own inability. Another way of putting it, I am admitting I am powerless. From here, I turn to one who has all power.

Word number twelve: Change
The number one thing that we don't easily see that we cannot change.....is us.
Grant me the peace and serenity to accept the truth that I cannot change myself. I need you, God, to save me.
I need you, God, to heal me.
I need you, God, to do for me what I cannot do myself.

God on you....

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