Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Serenity Prayer (Acceptance)

“…to accept the things I cannot change…”

Many times I feel like a toddler in an adult body.  Prone to fits and tantrums.  I recall watching an interaction between a little boy and his mother at a store.  I cannot recall if it was candy or a toy, but I do recall how desperately he wanted it.  First he asked his mother in a pretty straight forward manner, “Can I have this?”  His mother looked distracted so he said again with a little more emphasis, “CAN I HAVE THIS?”  His mother looked down and said a simple “No”  Which was immediately followed by a loud shrill, “PLEEEAASSE!”  The word was neither pleasing nor magical.  Wonder why they call it the magic words?  This continued on for what seem a very long time.  Most likely it was just a minute or two, but I am sure that it was an eternity for this little boy’s mother.  To her credit she did not give in, but boy did he make her pay for it.  I could still hear the little boy screaming as they exited the store. 

In my own spirit I have been the mother having to calm another soul that is screaming out about the injustice of a life that does not give them his or her desires.  However, if I am honest I find myself more often playing the role of the little boy.  Screaming out to anyone who will listen why I deserve what I desire.  To my shame I sometimes take this heart attitude to my prayer life with God.  I tell God what is fair for me to have or not to have and then with a shrill “please” I say Amen.  When my prayers are not answered I do not reflect on passages like , “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires (James 4:3).”  Instead I like a spoiled little boy threaten to take my ball and go home, because I do not want to play anymore. 

Contrast that with this prayer heart, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39  God is not so cold so as to be completely unaware or insensitive to our doubts or struggles.  He can hear them when we pray for those things that trouble us.  On the other hand this attitude ought to be in us that call ourselves mature in Christ.  That we (like Christ) say “Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  You see at some point we have to come to a place of acceptance of things as they are and return our confidence to God that our present circumstances has not caught Him unaware.  He continues to have a plan and purpose, even when we or someone else is the cause of suffering in our lives. 

Let us move to acceptance that God may produce a good work in our lives.