“When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

The famous ‘serenity prayer’ was composed by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. It was adopted and popularised by ‘Alcoholics Anonymous.’ You may know it in this form:

‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.’

Apparently, when Niebuhr first wrote it he expressed it like this:

‘Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.’

When something obviously has to be done we must get on and do it – even though the doing may be risky, uncomfortable, even unpleasant. It is not enough to only pray about it. Prayer must be combined with action. We are comfortable at home with father. It is pleasant to be in our familiar surroundings. But the bread we need is in Egypt. It is not going to make its way to us on foot. However, we can see our walking boots by the door. So let’s put them on and move. Sitting around looking at each other won’t get the shopping done. It will just bring starvation one day nearer.

PRAYER: Lord God, may we truly have the insight to see what needs to be done, and the courage to do it.