LIVING AS APPRENTICES
I’ve been teaching a class on the Twelve Steps and Spiritual Formation this winter and will start the class with a new group in early January. (I’m using the book Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr – you’ll find a summary of comments I posted on the book as I read it the first time under the category Breathing Under Water).
I’ve learned during the last decade is that there is power in accepting and embracing powerlessness. Life becomes simple (though not painless) when we turn all things over to God. Surrender and choice are the two words that are most helpful in this process. First we must surrender. Then every time we are tempted to take the control back, we have to make a fresh choice not to. This love of control shows up in several ways: when we worry, we are assuming we have some control over some situation or person, or are aggravated because we see that we don’t; when we try to fix someone we are not only infringing on their lives, but also getting in the way of the One who actually does have control: God. When we judge or gossip or lie, we assume a role of power that we don’t have and everyone is hurt – including ourselves.
The groups that I have taught about this process really benefit from the beautiful words of the Serenity Prayer, which is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. I offer it here as a gift for 2014:
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.
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;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him in the next.