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Morning Prayer

Each morning, Shannon and I say the serenity prayer from Celebrate Recovery. It goes like this:

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.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that God will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

(Some may be surprised to see that the serenity prayer is longer than it’s popular first four lines.)

As we say the serenity prayer each morning, sometimes very early, I’m inclined to keep my eyes open. If I let my lids droop I zone out and head back to zzz. As I have my eyes open, I’ve come to notice two things: flowers and the clock.

About weekly, Shannon buys flowers and puts them in a vase in the center of our kitchen table. They’re very pretty and I like them very much. Problem is, they rarely last more than a week. With refreshed water, they’ll hold out an extra couple of days but they just weren’t meant for vases. Over time, they drop their petals and die. With this, a lot of men find flowers rather pointless. Why buy something that’s just going to die a week later? But I doubt it’s a week to the flower. For the flower, it’s likely been a rather full life (even with some travel). And eventually it returns to the dirt that previously sustained it. As I sit at the breakfast table, I think to myself, am I really that different? In my time, I will grow and flourish and whither and die. The flowers are a beautiful, sobering reminder that I live a mortal life. We all do.

And the clock. If I could only think that I had all the time in the world… But there the clock is, always ticking away, always at the same rate. I don’t think the phrase for time is “running out.” Certainly, I don’t feel that way. But it’s another sobering reminder that life moves forward. Forward is a positive thing, though. As time moves forward, it’s worth looking forward. And as I look forward, I’m hopeful.

I know it’s kind of all silly but the flowers and clock contain a very real reminder.

What do you see as you eat breakfast? What do those things say to you?