I imagine you’ve heard of the Serenity Prayer, generally attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr?
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.
Turns out there’s more to it than that. The text continues:
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.
And the thing that struck me about the second verse is the reference to “enjoying one moment at a time.”
As a species, we’ve been grappling with living in the moment for centuries. And possibly more in the last year or two.
The desire to ignore Covid and live our normal lives. Or the desire to get vaccinated and move into whatever the new kind of normal will be.
Not really sitting in the current no-man’s land we actually live in. Not the “world as it is,” nor trusting that whatever dieties you believe in will “make all things right.”
But only in the world “as I would have it.”
Tiresome as that is.
In recent times I’ve started meditating. Learning, one minute at a time to sit in the moment. Not thinking about the past or the future, but just existing in the moment.
It’s bloody hard. Some days harder than others.
But I think the cumulation of those minutes makes it easier to endure the hardship. And in a weird way, to find peace. Letting attachments go.
To focus on my writing, and my relationships, and not getting too far ahead of myself.
Staying reasonably happy. All things considered.