I was looking back through some old materials I had collected during college for my website at that time. I came across this full text of The Serenity Prayer, of which many are familiar with the first stanza.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
—Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
The mandate here in the original version of the first stanza is stronger than the contemporary version. Rather than “Courage to change the things I can”, we instead should look to change anything that should be changed.
I also really like how the second stanza continues the thought but also sets the expectations for us even higher. We are called to live in the moment, accept hardship and surrender to God’s will as the means to find our happiness in life. These can certainly be challenging things at times, but we should all continue to strive the best we can!