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A spiritual comment and prayer to start the day with the Rev'd Dr Karen Smith, a Baptist minister and author

2 minutes

Last on

Wed 3 Jul 2019 05:43


Good morning. Not long ago, as my husband and I were walking in a park in Bedford we began to read the plaques placed on benches along the way. One park bench was given in memory of someone ‘who loved to sit and watch the world go by’. Another was recalling a person who ‘enjoyed feeding the squirrels’. And yet another commemorated the life of a woman who ‘would never take no for an answer’. 
I imagine we have all known someone like that--- the gutsy, adamant friend or family member who is determined and willing to persevere even in difficult circumstances. 
Of course, while sometimes that kind of sheer grit is admirable, it can also be frustrating, too. The truth is that alongside hard-headed determination, at times there is a need for compromise.  And even with all the effort and hard work in the world, there are situations that we can’t change. It may be that the best thing we can do is to walk away or accept the circumstances that we find ourselves in.  But that’s not easy to do.
In those moments when I find it difficult to know which choice to make, I sometimes think of the words of the Psalmist who claimed that we may place our trust in God.  I also try to keep in mind a prayer written by a 20th century American pastor, Reinhold Niebuhr, who struggled with matters relating to politics, public policy and religion. As he worked for change, he knew that there were difficult choices to make and sometimes situations that could not be changed.  On one occasion, he wrote what we now know as the ‘Serenity Prayer’.  Today whatever our circumstances, this is a prayer for peace and acceptance. 
God, grant me the serenityto accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Amen