Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 17, 1999

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / March 17, 1999

Most 12-step programs that offer help for various addictions usually start their meetings with the following prayer: “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.” The key words are God, accept,change and wisdom.

Let’s look at the word “accept.” In my opinion, acceptance is the key toleading a well-balanced life. Let me say, loud and clear, that I’ve neverbeen accused of leading a balanced life. The reason is because I refused toaccept certain things in my life. Yes, all the good things that happened tome, I accepted, but not always graciously. The bad times (the problems Iusually created myself), I complained about.

The Bible says that we should rejoice in all things. I’ve always had aproblem with that. My mother, on the other hand, taught me a lesson twomonths ago. She will be 91 in May. She, like many older people, sometimestalks about things in the past. I joke a lot with my mother, in fact, I thinkI overdo it sometimes.

After joking with her a little and to the point of aggravating her, I knelt down by her chair and said, “Mama, I love you. You’ve been the best motherin the world.” “I wouldn’t say that,” she said. “Yes, you have,” I continued,”and I’m glad God gave me you for a mother.”I then asked her this question. “Mama, if you could change anything in yourlife, what would it be?” “Nothing,” she answered, without hesitation.

“God has been really good to me.” Keep in mind that my father died in 1955at the age of 48. She really loved my dad. Two of her children were dead atbirth. My only brother, Mark, died a year and a half ago. She still missesMark. While growing up, my family had only the bare necessities. We didn’town a car when I was growing up.

With all of this, this past Sunday, I again asked my mother the same question. “Mama, if you could change anything in your life, what would itbe?” “Nothing,” she again answered. “My God has been good. My life hasbeen good.”It still amazes me how much I’ve learned from my mother and continue to learn from her.

Yes, acceptance is the key, but without God, sometimes impossible.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur .

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