I am sure by now you have heard of a certain prayer that goes “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.” Have you ever thought about what the word Serenity means?
Serenity according to the Oxford Dictionary means “the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.” If you’ve ever been out to a lake, either the Twin Lakes outside of town or driven out to any lake on a day when the Oklahoma wind is not living up to its billing, you might have felt that serenity through the water – when there aren’t any boats on it of course.
If you have children, more than likely you probably have felt that serenity either when they are sleeping or if you left them with Grandma and Grandpa for a few hours. My wife Sharon and I do not have any kids together (we do have two older daughters that I inherited when we got married) but when that day comes, we will probably take advantage even though my parents live two hours away – doubt it but worth the shot.
You might be looking at the word serenity and thinking “now isn’t it the same thing as having peace?” From what I have read in researching for this blog, it is. In fact, an Australian named Kevin Bar on the site quora.com puts it this way: “Each one of us has our own degree of consciousness and our own unique density of intelligent light/love. The true meaning of peace and serenity is that they are positive catalysts that we can aim to achieve on an individual basis.” So while everything around you is collapsing, you can have a sense of peace (serenity) that everything will turn out fine.
The prayer that I mentioned above is not in Scripture per se, as it is used by those who are involved in Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step programs to encourage those who might be struggling in their recovery. But the Scriptures do make a lot of references when it comes to peace. A notable example would be when Jesus talks to His disciples. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27, ESV)
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi tells them to not be anxious about anything “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your prayers be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6,7)
Think about any situation right now that could use a little bit of serenity…and work toward changing it. As we move into the summer months, it will make things a lot easier, even if it does mean leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa.
Robert Keil is Tonya’s brother in law. He and his wife Sharon live in Shawnee where you might see him as a block leader for Community Renewal or as a volunteer for the American Red Cross …or you can hear him on the One Ten Broadcast Group stations -- KWSH (1260 AM/97.7 FM), KSLE (104.7) and KIRC (105.9)