Chapter 24

Sometimes it’s difficult to get someone to understand my view of things. I, at times, hope that invoking logic or being vulnerable will compel people to see another reality than their own. However, many variables exist, which might impede people from accepting “my” reality as “real.” I am not in control of such variables. Neither do I have the agency to alter them. This reminds me of the “Serenity Prayer” of Reinhold Niebuhr that I’ve heard people quote many times: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Serenity is the thing requested in exchange for the acceptance of the inability to change things. When I think of serenity, I think of a peaceful area of land—a lush meadow of flowers. I imagine a gentle breeze blowing tall blades of grass with trees full of leaves surrounding the area. I envision calm waters nearby, either a pond or river.

The image I create reminds me of a passage in Psalm 23 with distinct imagery. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters (1-2). This makes me think, even in times of miscommunication, or times when do not want to accept my perspective of life, Jesus Christ is right there with me. He is our shepherd. He calms our soul. As he calmed the waters of the stormy sea (Mark 4:39), he calms us, giving us serenity in spirit and soul to deal with disagreement.