• Sarah J Cobb

Acceptance...courage...wisdom

Throughout the past couple days, I found myself thinking on the Serenity Prayer. Like most of you, I am looking for a place of calm and peace amid the chaos of cancellations, closings and increasing concern. There is an endless barrage of news, texts, emails, and social media to sort through. Just like you, I have events and vacations planned which are now wrapped in question marks. I have children in my home and patients in their homes, all of whom are a bit stressed, worried and frustrated as they look to me for guidance.


As I took a few deep breaths, forcing my brain to settle down, I prayed:


God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.


I am not the one making decisions about cancelled events and school closings. I guess I could complain or share my opinion on it, but I can't change it. However, I can help my kids navigate this time of virtual learning by setting them up with a schedule and offering a voice of encouragement. I do not know why this coronavirus started or exactly how it will spread. But I can read the information given by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, trusting that the scientists and epidemiologists who work for them are immensely more knowledgable than me. Then I can let go of trying to second guess their decisions and, instead, choose to follow the guidelines given. I cannot control the uncertainty of the coming weeks, but I can manage the anxiety that rises up inside me by avoiding an abundance of news or unreliable social media posts.


Have you ever read the full rendition of the Serenity Prayer, attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr?


God, grant me 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 a pathway to peace;

taking, as Jesus did,

this sinful world as it is,

not as I would have it;

trusting that You will make all things right

if I surrender to Your will;

so that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with You forever in the next.


So many things about this sinful world are not as I would have it. Coronavirus certainly isn't the first. Nor will it be the last. But I am on a path to peace and, truth is, there will be some really hard things along the way. I trust that God will ultimately make all things right. I can walk forward in that. Because I am truly more excited about enjoying Jesus in the coming life than I am about our uncertain trip to Disney World in the coming months.


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