Principal’s Ponderings

As part of my report at this past Tuesday’s Fall General Meeting I shared that throughout the past numbers of years – especially through the pandemic, I turned often to the Serenity Prayer.  The Serenity Prayer was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs who adopted it although it was written by an American Theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930s. He first wrote the prayer for a sermon, and he actually used many different iterations of it in sermons for over a decade before it became more widely known. The most popular lines are:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The remaining lines although not as well-known are just as powerful and meaningful and certainly words to live by:

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

I especially like the last four lines because of how it is in contrast to how our world tries to sell us (both figuratively and literally) on happiness (and things to make us happy) telling us that happiness should be our ultimate focus, desire, and aspiration.  Conversely, the words in the poem state clearly that this side of eternity can never match what we will experience on the other side of it. As Colossians 3:2 from the Message says, “Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is.  See things from his perspective.”

Pledging to GCCS

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