By Judy Vidakovich
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.
I first learned this prayer in a 12-step program over 30 years ago—such an empowering yet simple prayer. Finding our strength to cope with the unknown doesn’t have to be as complicated as it feels. However, ambiguous emotions tend to mix up our thoughts and can often send me into a mental and emotional spin. When I spin, I don’t win. Whether it’s a personal unknown or the fate of our denomination, the unknown can bring on fear and doubt that is challenging to say the least.
As we approach the February General Conference, I’m not only thinking about the UM decision and consequences. This upcoming event has also triggered my brain to release all my other memories and emotions regarding the unknown. (Usually, we don’t realize our brain has been triggered.) My brain has memories of the unknown for as far back as I can remember—times when I spent days, weeks or months trying to figure out how the unknown would resolve, and I remember the worry and anxiety that accompanied those unproductive thought processes. When I spin, I don’t win.
Therefore, since I’m not a delegate, there’s nothing I can do to affect the vote. (Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change) Since worrying drains me of energy, and when I spin, I don’t win. And knowing that prayer and meditation are more helpful to me than engaging in debate…(Grant me the courage to change the things I can.) I will pray for guidance and talk to someone about my feelings, instead of ranting about ideas, which will be counter-intuitive to my serenity. (Grant me the wisdom to know the difference.)