A Train Ride To Serenity


The New York Subway system is great. There is a fundamental element associated with traveling from downtown to uptown. When I was a child, per my cousin Gary, there were two trains that got the task done. From Penn Station you could catch the “A” train, a local route making many stops throughout the entire boro of Manhattan. Mostly everyone used this one because of its frequent regular schedule during the day. But if you knew what you were doing and your goal was to get uptown, you could travel up a steep flight of stairs, wait a while and get on the “AA” train instead. This express line offered you the freedom to arrive at your destination in a fraction of the time uninformed/impatient passengers realized on the popular local route. Today it is known as the “A Express.” On a good day you can get from 42nd street to 168st in 4 stops.

The Serenity Prayer offers us the same advantage.Serenity PrayerThis prayer is like an express train to my core. On the exterior, when I find myself honestly appealing to God‘s Sovereignty over my life as I face some sort of issue, this prayer acquaints me with the dilemma’s affect on me. It also provides me with a Divine solution – PEACE! Philippians 4: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Each request in the Serenity Prayer is significant.

At the point when I am “boarding” this train, my spirit cries out “GOD.” Now I must tell you that I had to learn how to interpret this instinctive cry and utilize this prayer. I can vividly remember my twenties, when I was SO overwhelmed by life and too afraid to ask for help,I thought/BELIEVED I was supposed to be able to know how to handle all of the things going on around and in my life. Asking for help seemed like a weak, spineless cop out. In essence, the lies had me fooled and I was destined to experience all of the calamity and blessings that God OK’d. I am so thankful for the Old Testament because my consistent pursuit into that portion of scripture, during my twenties, gave me this level of clarity as my twenties came to a close. However, I did not realize God’s sovereignty until my 30’s.

I take my “seat” on the train as my spirit declares “Grant me the SERENITY.” In other words, my peace has been disrupted. Some person, place, thing or situation has interrupted the harmony within me that fuels my purpose. It’s obvious to me now that at this point I have conceded to myself that I am in need of help – GOD’S HELP – in order to arrive at His desired will for my life. Somehow, someway I have gone astray and I NEED to be restored.

“Accept the things that I cannot change” – Action occurs as the train speeds towards the next stop. Acceptance is in motion. What characterizes the motion experience like that of an actual subway ride is how I adapt to the bumpy segments between stops. When you ride the subway it can sometimes be a rough ride. So it is as I have to get myself to this acceptance of whatever it is that has interfered with my peace. The plea for acceptance directly calls into focus what I CANNOT change. Here is where the bumps get intense. Who cares to admit that they can’t do something when they are so engrossed in the prospects of consistently looking good on the outside. The prayer quickly challenges every aspect of my ego. Summarily, everything that goes on outside of me that affects my core – people, places, things, situations – are BEYOND my control. Acceptance gets me into an awareness that God controls every aspect of what goes on outside of me PERFECTLY (whether I want to believe it or not) and I AM NOT GOD.  The doors close and the train leaves the stop quickly speeding towards the next one.

“Courage to change the things that I can” – Finally something that I can do. The action of acceptance does not stop. In addition , I now call on God to provide what  I can physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually utilize to affect change in effort to achieve peace at all these levels – COURAGE. It enables me to honestly assess all that is going on at my core – what I am feeling, how I am thinking and most of all HOW MUCH I AM TRUSTING IN GOD VS TRUSTING IN ME OR OTHERS.  Courage is necessary in order for me to make whatever changes that are necessary within me that puts God back in His proper place -1st.

Why is this such an important life principle? All month I have delved into courage to gain a greater willingness to get all that courage affords me. I am a fearful being on so many levels. So to arrive at the place where I can honestly seek the Lord’s presence from day to day, and continue to experience the power that His presence does supply, offers me a vast supply of courage. The courage I write about is based in TRUST, HOPE AND FAITH IN THE CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, who created me. It just seems so apparent to me that one of the biggest problems we face in our core is keeping God engaged in our day to day affairs. A daily surrender to the finished work at Calvary is not an obstacle when you realize your need for a Savior.  The Apostle Paul made a simple but profound declaration in Philippians 4:13 “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.”

The train doors close again as it speeds towards the destination. Along the way, my countenance has changed. I am now eager as I realize I am almost there. It is amazing at how quickly I have gone from 34th – downtown feeling all out of sorts and “off” – to 168th street – uptown Harlem – on top of my game, resting in the peace of God which is far beyond what I can possibly understand. Peace is at work because I called on God, requested “serenity now”, actively engaged acceptance and willingly utilized courage. But as the doors open at my final destination I am still in need of “The wisdom to know the difference.” Having the blessing of peace continuously at work in and around me requires a continued presence of wisdom. Wisdom to assess those things that are in my control and out of my control. The wisdom to know when I need to get back on the “aa” train.

 

A Cause for Prayer


My grandmother was a woman of faith.  She stood for Christian principles and if you knew her in any way you were in the presence of victorious Christian living.  I learned many lessons of faith, hope, determination to follow God, standing on the promises of God’s word and “being more than a conqueror” that I realize from week to week.  Her daughter, my mom, continues to be a beacon of light into these lessons and His word by continuing to stand for the truth. We all have access to truth when we read the Bible. Who was the first person who read the Bible to you?  Did they have you to read the passage or did they read it? Can you remember what passage it was?

I started out doing video blogs. There’s a link to that google site. A particular video blog there was the first difficult experience I encountered posting.  There were numerous problems I had to work through to get it accessible.  Amazingly, the more difficult it became the more determined I was to get it done. And to God be the glory it IS posted – “PRAYER CHANGES THINGS”.  
sites.google.com/site/beingmorethanaconqueror85
When you are faced with difficulty what is your immediate response? 
 I know that “letting go and letting God” is not always a first response.  Trial and error is sometimes necessary to arrive at the place where you know your are in need for Heavenly intervention. You can get so animated that you just “look up”.
Prayer is not a hardship but I know what it feels like when it is.  The causes of my unwillingness to pray are rooted in my human nature.  There is a constant warfare present in all of us that is between doing it my way and doing it God’s way.  Romans 7 is written to address this dilemma.
I have found out that a synergy between the two wills – soul and spirit – is possible only when the Holy Spirit is actively in control.  I give Him that control when I pray, when I read the Bible, when I meditate on Scripture, when I sing hymns, Psalms and good gospel music and when I fellowship with other children of God. When these activities are not present I am left with all of the appeal of the world as a poor substitute.  So I have a responsibility to CHOOSE which way I will direct my thoughts and actions from day to day.  
 Being More Than a Conqueror becomes your identity when you choose God’s way and not the way of the world which is natural.