“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 quote is one that I’d forgotten about until a close friend reminded me of it just yesterday. Which is slightly ridiculous to me, because the journal in which I do all of my personal writing and jotting-down-of-thoughts has this prayer written on the back of it! Apparently I don’t read what’s in front of me sometimes.
This prayer, widely known as the Serenity Prayer, is one that is speaking to me very loudly right now. I mean, it’s practically screaming at me: “Em, stop worrying! Do not fret about that which is out of your control! You can only worry about yourself and how you will react to whatever occurs externally. Everything else you must accept, because it will all work out for you.”
Which is all fine and dandy. It’s great to read the Serenity Prayer and think, “Yep, that’s true.” It’s wonderful to tell yourself only to focus on you and to accept the things out of your control. However, it’s an entirely different thing to actually believe it!
This is my struggle now.
I took this picture while walking out of class at U of M late one night. There was no one around, and peace just emanated throughout the entire campus. It had rained earlier, so that refreshing spring rain smell was lingering in the air.
I just had to stop and pull out my camera to capture the scene and attempt to do it justice. (For more serene photos, check out these). As soon as I put my eye to the viewfinder, I saw this image and immediately loved it: the way the path wound forward from the back corner, the two empty stone benches that gave off a sense of solidity and structure, and the puddle on the ground reflecting the lamplight and all that which could not be seen by the shot itself.
How I long to place myself into that photograph and sit on one of those benches right now! To feel it solid beneath me, reminding me that the world is still here beneath me and around me, and always will be. That no matter how confused and pensive I may feel, some things never change (such as those literally rock-hard benches). To stare into the puddle and see the lamp reflected there, demonstrating how sometimes it takes seeing a situation from a new perspective – such as a reflection – in order to see the light in it. In order to see what we otherwise wouldn’t be able to perceive.
So, God, show me the light amidst the darkness. Grant me the serenity internally that I can discern from this photo. Give me courage to stand strong in the face of whatever may come. And, finally, grant me the wisdom to remember the prayer written on the back of my journal whenever I feel lost, and help me to wholeheartedly believe it.