Thus said the great Apostle,
Many years ago:
"I've learned the secret of being content
In any situation,
Whether poverty or plenty."
I, too, have been content in plenty,
In seasons of sweet friendship,
Of tea and books and restful sleep.
And I've been content in poverty,
With dirt floors and cockroaches
And just three pairs of clothes.
So why is it so hard to be content
In the gray expanse between,
Neither poverty nor plenty?--
Where comforts and blessings are multiplied,
But mixed with weariness, stress,
And unsought disconsolations--
I've more of poverty and more of plenty
Than I've ever had before,
But in all this much-ness, all this less-ness,
The Apostle's secret--
Abiding joy, deep-running peace--
Secretive still remains.
Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.