"What's enough? Countless times I've watched the sun rise like God's tender mercy to gently lift the dark blanket from the earth, and countless more times I've watched the sun set in such a splendiferous farewell that it must reflect the fringe on God's robe. I've seen the sky define blue and endless. I've watched rivers run to the sea, full as life runs to God. I've felt the sea roll in on the eternal note of mystery and assurance.

"I've scratched the ears of dogs, laughed at the ballet of cats. I've heard the cry and gurgle of the newborn, played with children, rocked with grandmothers, learned from hundreds of teachers, some of them homeless, poor, and uneducated. I've been enlarged ten times squared by writers from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison, and yet countless other storytellers, some in delis and diners, taverns and buses, churches, curb sides and prison cells.

"I have tasted bread and wine, hog dogs and caviar, somehow in the alchemy of need and gift and joy, all made holy as God's own overflowing banquet. I've been loved and forgiven beyond all deserving, and all breath to tell of it, by family and friends and God.

"I've been shaken, changed, and blessed a thousand times — and still — by the prophets, and by Christ. I've felt the touch of God, each time before I realized that's what it was. I've been shrunk and stretched at the same time by the scatter of stars and found North in one of them. I've experienced the loneliness of freedom and being human and having hard choices. I've known the thrill of small triumphs, the instruction of painful defeats, and so the amazement of being part of the incredible human pilgrimage from Adam and Eve to the twenty-first century. I've shared in the cantankerous yet remarkable family of faith called the church. I'm conscious of being conscious and alive. And all that's just for starters.

"How much does it take to praise God? I have a couple of trips around the Milky Way past enough for that, no matter if I never receive another thing. So I best get on with it . . . and praise God that I can."