Thursday, January 12, 2006
at 1:32 AM
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.
~Author unknown, variation of an excerpt from "The Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Neibuhr
We have all heard the serenity prayer and some variations, both funny and serious. I kind of liked the variation above. And I thought it would be nice to include the original version written by Reinhold Niebuhr. He was the son of a German-American minister, born in 1892 in Missouri who became a minister himself. As a young man he became an outspoken socialist, even running for office on the Socialist Ticket in Detroit. In 1928 he moved to NYC and became a professor at Union Theological Seminary. His views began to change as he grew older and eventually because of Hitler's and Stalin's totalitarian policies in the 30s, he found himself breaking away from his pacifist friends and when the US went to war, Reinhold became an ardent supporter of the war effort and became critical of fascists and also of the liberal spirit which he felt had led us into WWII.
Whatever his politics, he wrote a beautiful prayer which is the only thing I really knew about him until today.
The Serenity Prayer
written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
Original, unabridged version
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
I hope you find some serenity today, if that is what you seek.