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.
The first time I really remember hearing and remembering this prayer was at a high school youth group retreat in 2001. Everyone received a little teal blue card with ‘The Serenity Prayer’ on it, and it’s been with me on my nightstand or taped to my desk ever since, no matter where I’ve lived.
I couldn’t at the time pinpoint exactly what it was that drew me to it, but as I’ve grown up and become more self-aware (and honest with myself), it HAS to do something with the fact that I’m a control freak. Not as much now as I was in my teens to mid 20s, but it’s definitely still in me – just to a lesser degree now. And I think this prayer has a lot to do with it.
It crosses my mind when I’m frustrated or worried or upset with just about anything – friends, family, spouse, work, etc. And it forces me to not only realize and remember that I cannot control everything around me, but also think ‘do I really NEED or WANT to control things’? The answer a lot of times now is no. There are far more important things to focus on, so I change my attitude about whatever it is and move on.
In my opinion, life is just way too short and flies by way too fast to live any other way.