Friday, June 12, 2020

Hymn of the Week: God Grant Me the Serenity

I've been toying for awhile with the idea of finding a hymn tune that I could pair with the text of the famous "Serenity Prayer." This is my first stab at an attempt, using the tune of the old hymn "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go." The lyrics below are derived from the full text of the prayer; aside from a few tweaks and a touch of poetic license, none are are my own invention. The prayer is most commonly known in a very simple form, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference," but that's really only half (or less) of the full version as written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the early 20th century. The prayer is beloved both for its depth of insight and its pithiness, and even if I may not have captured the 
full extent of either element here, it made 
for a fun experiment in hymnography.

God Grant Me the Serenity

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I can't change;
Yet grant me courage to act where I
Should actively work for change.
And over both of these virtues, grant
The wisdom that I will need
To know the difference between the two,
When striving or when I'm at peace.

     I'm living my life one day at a time,
     Finding joy in each moment God gives.
     I'm taking this world as Jesus did;
     I'll live as he taught me to live.

God grant me grace, that I'd accept
Hardships as your paths to peace;
That though this world is wracked by sin, 
I'd trust in your sovereignty:
That you would make all these things turn right,
If I submit to your will;
Then happy I'd be in this life and the next,
With your bold serenity filled.