Reflection of the Week - 30 June 2020

Posted in Faith

My wise spiritual director said to me last week, “You and Andrew have been carrying a lot in your baskets this year.”

I was then invited to cup my hands and reflect on everything in my ‘basket’ and listen to what God was saying to me through that.

I admit my reluctance to acknowledge all the contents of my ‘basket’. Surely it would be too overwhelming?

Yet, as I entered into a place of quiet, holding the enormity of what I was carrying before God, the load felt lighter.

As I looked down at my hands, I noticed my fingers had opened a little and there was space for the unnecessary worrying and responsibilities to trickle between my fingers. I no longer had to hold these things.

In the words of my spiritual director as I shared this experience, “What can you allow to trickle through your fingers? What can you let go?”

During the last week, when I have felt close to being overwhelmed, I hold my hands with fingers slightly splayed, reminding myself I don’t need to keep carrying everything.

As I considered this letting go process, I remembered some of the versions of the Serenity Prayer. I learned it was originally written around 1932-1933 by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). The prayer is commonly known in this form:

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.

I also like the Other Serenity Prayer by Eleanor Brownn:

God, grant me the serenity to stop beating myself for not doing things perfectly,

the courage to forgive myself because I’m working on doing better,

and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.

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