Collect of the Day: Proper 3
Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Twelve years ago this week I felt abandoned, isolated and trapped in a continuous loop of despair. This week I celebrated twelve years of continuous sobriety. How did that ever happen? Sometimes I shake my head in gratitude and astonishment, continually amazed by the grace and love of my Higher Power, whom I call God. Over the past few years in particular, in addition to regular 12-step meetings, I’ve been praying the daily office using an app on my phone. I find that setting aside some time in the morning or in the evening helps me quiet my mind and increase my conscious contact with God. Today, for example, I smiled as I read the words “joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity.” Twelve years ago I certainly did not feel much joy, confidence or serenity, and I wasn’t interested in serving anything or anyone. On this warm sunny day, with a sleeping dog at my feet, I feel so much gratitude for the gift of sobriety, life, love and joy. In my 12-step group we talk about the goals of love and service, which aligns beautifully with the desire to serve God joyfully. When I speak with a newcomer, I feel so much compassion, love and welcome as I share my own experience, strength and hope. In helping newcomers, I feel more peaceful and at ease within myself, and I feel joy, confidence and serenity. Today a woman in my daily meeting had a lot of pain and suffering, and I was able to listen to her struggle. I do not know everything about recovery but I do feel confident in my ability to share my own experience in the spirit of being helpful, thus I can “serve (God) in confidence.” Listening to another deepens my own well of joy and compassion for myself and others, thus I can “serve God joyfully.” Praying the serenity prayer daily helps me ask God to grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. With these new tools, from my church community as well as my 12-step community, I know that today I can embrace this challenge to serve God with confidence, serenity and joy.