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A prayer for the new year

Somehow  a year has flashed by, reminding me of a story in which a great  king challenged his subjects to create works of art depicting their ideas of  peace.   Paintings flowed into the castle.  Beautiful pastoral scenes.  Pictures of smiling babies, children playing.  Grazing animals, flowing streams, fields of flowers.  Yet the picture that spoke of peace to the King was a painting of a raging storm dumping torrents of wind and rain on a rushing waterfall and boiling rapids.  In one corner of the painting there was a fragile tree branch almost hidden behind some rocks,  On the branch was a bird nest and in the nest  a rain soaked mother bird sat protecting her eggs.  Peace is not the absence of conflict, the King told his people.  Peace comes from within, from daring to accept life on it’s own terms, then letting go of fear and facing what is with quiet confidence and gratitude.

         Instead of making New Year’s resolutions I invite you to join me in praying The Serenity Prayer at least once a day, for the next year.  The Serenity Prayer covers anything we need to be happy and content, I find.  By praying it over and over again, day after day, it will slowly move from your head into your heart where it will transform your way of thinking and being.  I know,  for that prayer has helped me embrace some of life’s most difficult challenges and find a way to face life’s challenges with greater peace of mind.   The Serenity Prayer is the best summation of Jesus’ teachings I’ve ever found.   It starts out with “ 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.”   Fortunately it doesn’t end there.  Instead it is followed by a beautiful summary of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ how to live and  thrive in this world:

Living one day at a time

Enjoying one moment at a time

Accepting hardship 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  

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with him forever in the next  

#Serenity Prayer

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