Food for thought from “Out to Canaan” by Jan Karon:

It came to him that Patrick Henry Reardon had indirectly spoken of something like this.  He had copied it into his sermon notebook only days ago.
     “Suppose for a moment,” Reardon had said, “that God began taking from us the many things for which we have failed to give thanks.  Which o our limbs and faculties would be left?  Would I still have my hands and my mind?  And what about loved ones?  If God were to take from me all those persons and things for which I have not given thanks, who or what would be left of me?”

“I’ll have the usual,” said Father Tim.
Mule looked approving.  “That’s what I need to do – figure out one thing and stick with it.  Same thing every morning, and you don’t have to mess with it again.”

Ah, well.  He could muddle on about the fire, or he could look at what had risen from the ashes.  Wasn’t that the gist of life, after all, making the everyday choice between fire and phoenix?