I had my list and was reviewing it in my mind: all the reasons I was feeling discouraged and angry.
- If only I had more time to write, I would be content with my writing.
- If only I didn’t have such challenging tasks at work, I would enjoy my work more.
- If only we weren’t moving, I would feel secure and at peace.
The list gnawed at my soul, causing ripples of discontent and anger. My day had been overshadowed by my list.
The next morning, I woke up mad. Usually a good nights sleep will clear my mind, but this morning the list picked up where it had left off the day before. I added to the list. If only this were different. If only this would change…
I spent my early morning quiet time watching the sun rise while trying to quiet my mind, but it wasn’t until I was in my car, driving to work, that the truth finally hit home.
I remembered the prayer my small group reviews each week and the words sunk in. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” I realized that I was giving away control over my life by thinking that my circumstances dictated my attitude and quality of life.
My circumstances don’t have to dictate my attitude unless I let them. “Courage to change the things I can.” Why was I giving away my responsibility for my attitude and for the things I could change?
“Wisdom to know the difference.” I had been choosing the role of an angry victim instead of accepting that there are things I could not change.
The weight of worry, frustration and anger dissipated as I realized I was only crippling myself through my anger. There are steps I can take to change my life. I do not need to wait for my circumstances to change to be content and at peace.
“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. -Reinhold Niebuhr