|Blue Spruce with Courage Angel - Rita Bourland © 2010
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
These words have comforted so many individuals. I have repeated them to myself on many occasions during times of stress. They sum up quite perfectly and concisely the ultimate challenges we all share as human beings.
The picture above is of a blue spruce tree that was planted in our backyard in memory of my brother, Kennan, who died at age 56 in 2008. He was an intelligent, active, generous, wise man who died suddenly. The tree was planted at Thanksgiving in memory of his life and beautiful spirit. Thirty family members were present for the occasion. It took awhile before God granted any of us the serenity to accept this loss. I'm still not sure I have, but he is gone and that fact can't be changed.
I placed my courage angel on the branches of Kennan’s tree today as a reminder that he would want his family to live courageously. He would want us to face obstacles head on and not give up on our dreams; living with a courageous spirit and changing the things in life that allow us to move forward in positive life-affirming ways.
Serenity is hard to achieve, courage presents its own challenges and wisdom comes with time. This brief prayer asks us to work toward things that are slightly out of reach and more difficult than we might like. There is much in life that can’t be changed and we have limited control over the rest. Serenity, courage and wisdom are perhaps the greatest gifts we can ever ask to receive.