63) On Wanting to Be Somewhere Else

TWO PICTURES  

–By Annie Douglas Robinson  (1842-1913)

An old farmhouse with meadows wide,
And sweet with clover on each side;
A bright-eyed boy, who looks from out
The door with woodbine wreathed about,
And wishes his one thought all day:
”Oh, if I could only fly away
From this dull spot, the world to see,
How happy, happy, happy,
How happy I should be!”

Amid the city’s constant din,
A man who round the world has been,
Who, mid the tumult and the throng,
Is thinking, thinking all day long:
“Oh! could I only tread once more
The field-path to the farmhouse door,
The old, green meadow could I see,
How happy, happy, happy,
How happy I should be!”

–From Harper’s Fourth Reader, page 365, Copyright 1888, Harper & Brothers

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“A man travels the world over in search of what he
needs, and he returns home to find it.”  –George Moore

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Jeremiah 50:6  —  They have wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Philippians 4:11b-12b  —  I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in every situation.  

I Timothy 6:6-8  —  …Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Hebrews 13:5-6a  —  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…”

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THE SERENITY PRAYER

(original version, later adapted and popularized by AA)

God,
Give me 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.  Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian, (1892-1971)