At the end of a bloody battle during the Civil War, someone found the following prayer folded in the pocket of dead Confederate soldier:
“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, then I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed.”
It is a great advance in spiritual understanding to be able to say, “I got nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.” That’s what simplicity is all about.