Chaplain’s Corner

Mariner’s Passage - The purpose of this column is to share my reflections on the life of we mariners and the Creator of the seas. (Proverbs Chpt. 23 verse 34) We mariners have opportunity to experience the Almighty up close and personal in ways that others cannot.

By George Shannon
Bolger, Microtrawler & Teal builder.


What Control?

I recently got reacquainted with an old copy of the complete Serenity Prayer.  I thought it had outlived it’s usefulness for me, but as I have been learning lately that is not so.  Here is what my copy says:

GOD, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can & wisdom to know the difference; living one day at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace; taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting the 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 Hiebuhr

I first ran into this prayer just after I met my wife as I went into the Navy.  Talk about a place you have no control over anything, well that’s the military as all who have served know well.  I read and prayed this prayer daily as I served tours on two submarines in the early 60’s.  Being a control and judgmental person I often made life miserable for myself by not being “exactly” obedient to an immediate superior.  I had to be reminded often that I was not in control.   Even later in life I still struggle with people around me not doing things the way I believe they should be done, and judging them for it.  I expect people to change and that expectation has kept me in much turmoil.  I know a few people who have an incredible amount of tolerance, patience and wisdom concerning these things and I pray daily to get just a little.  There must be something I need to let go of and so far the only thing I can come up with is that I am expecting from others what I can’t do myself and am just not honest enough to see it.  I am hoping this prayer with God’s help will reveal the rest of what I need to do.  One of the Scriptures that came to me recently was;  Matthew 7:5 which says, “you hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  That is some strong language and for me is needed because this is a serious problem in my life.  One of the reasons I chose boat building is that there is a measure of control in the building and remodeling processes.  I am in my third modification of Microtrawler and who knows how many more will come along.  I wonder if I get healed of this control and judgment thing, if I won’t try and change my surroundings so often.  I hope so.


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