The Pearl of Great Price

This is an excerpt from Tales of a Magic Monastery, by the late Theophane the Monk. He has ever been a mentor to me… For more than three decades now, I’ve unabashedly declared, “When I grow up, I want to write this well.” (I’m still working at it.)

pearl

He asked me what I was looking for.

“Frankly,” I said, “I’m looking for the Pearl of Great Price.”

He slipped his hand into his pocket, drew it out, AND GAVE IT TO ME. It was just like that! I was dumbfounded. Then I began to protest: “You don’t want to give it to me? Don’t you want to keep it for yourself? But. . .”

When I kept this up, he said finally, “Look, is it better to have the Pearl of Great Price, or to give it away?”–

Well, now I have it. I don’t tell anyone. From some there would just be disbelief and ridicule. “You, you have the Pearl of Great Price? Hah!” Others would be jealous, or someone might steal it. Yes, I do have it. But there’s that question–“Is it better to have it, or to give it away?” How long will that question rob me of my joy?

Thoughts and questions are precious ...

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