God, 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.
It boils down to control. I want to be able to control my children. I want to be able to control my husband. I want to be able to control that moron driver that just cut me off. I want to be able to control myself.
This is where the rubber meets the road, though. The more I grab at and scratch for control, the less I seem to have. I'm short with my kids, rude to my husband, and mad at myself. This doesn't really sound like the Abundant Life I was promised. So what is the key?
In Matthew 16:25 Jesus says:
Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
I think He's speaking of control here. If I want to live my life the way I want to, it's not really gonna be all that great. Giving control to Him unlocks the door to that abundant life.
Eugene Petersen's paraphrase puts it like this:
Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat, I am. Don't run from suffering [giving up your own will or your level of control], embrace it. Follow me [look at what I am doing, and do it. Do things MY way]. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, of finding yourself, your true self. What kind of a deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Lord, forgive me. I've continued to try to get in the driver's seat. I see that I need to give control to you in order to find it over myself. You are a loving Father and you will not lead me astray. I love you.