Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—now and always.
– Psalm 131
Some call it irresponsibility. Some call it a cop out. I call it discernment. There simpy exist things too great for me to grasp. I have no trouble admitting that. Perhaps, in fact, I may be a bit too prone to let things go – too laissez-faire. But there are also those times when I take on the weight of the world. I worry about things I cannot control. I agonize over things I cannot understand. I fret over things I cannot influence. It’s called useless worry. Borrowing trouble.
I heard of a new serenity prayer:
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot plan,
The courage to plan the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.”
I do not think of such an attitude as irresponsible or even laissez-faire. For I do not simply let things go, I pray. I ask God for help. I live the serenity prayer: Praying for God’s help with things I have no business trying to control, and his Holy Spirit to give me courage to deal with the things I must, and wisdom to discern which is which.
Dr. Cameron Wiggins Bellm, pastor of Woodhaven Baptist Church in Seattle, Wash., offered this prayer – shared recently by Jerry Kieschnick, President Emeritus of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have had to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.