Lenten Reflection #8 – Thoughtful Thursday
There are times in life when we can succumb to stress or strive for serenity. Our reaction sets the sail for calm waters or a squall.
For me, stress rears its head during the tireless mask-wearing moments all the way to the day my best friend told me her husband has prostate cancer. It is in these snippets of time when I scour my soul for strength and wisdom to know what I should do or say, but paramount — what I should pray.
And it is always the Serenity Prayer. I reminds me I cannot and am not at the helm of life. That’s not the plan. Control is not always the answer. We have to leave a little milk in the container for the next guy and let go of our side of the tug-of-war rope.
Author, Anne Lamott said,
“Why couldn’t Jesus command us to obsess over everything, to try to control and manipulate people, to try not to breathe at all, or to pay attention, stomp away to brood when people annoy us, and then eat a big bag of Hershey’s Kisses in bed?”
― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
At some point, we just need serenity, courage and wisdom.
Here’s some cool history on the Serenity Prayer:
Back in 1943, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote this Serenity Prayer.
In 2003, Niebuhr’s daughter, Elisabeth Sifton wrote a book titled “The Serenity Prayer”.
In 2008 Fred Shapiro an associate library director and lecturer in legal research at Yale Law School “made the front page of The New York Times by asserting that the greatest American theologian of the 20th century probably did not originate the most famous and beloved prayer of the 20th century.”
In 2014 the New York Times published the article, I Was Wrong About The Origin Of The Serenity Prayer by Fred Shapiro an associate library director and lecturer in legal research at Yale Law School questioning the authorship.
Who really wrote this lovely prayer?
Read the article here.