"Our constant desire for more is illustrated in one of my favorite Sufi stories, the merchant and the Sufi. A wealthy merchant saw a Sufi praying in the mosque. The merchant was inspired by the devotion of the Sufi, and when the Sufi finished his prayers, the merchant went over and gave him a bag of gold coins saying, 'Please take this money and use it to help others. I am sure that you will do more good with it than I would.'

"The Sufi replied, 'I am not sure I can take your money. It would not be right to deprive you or your family. Do you have more money at home?'

"The merchant proudly claimed, 'I have over a thousand gold pieces at home!'

" 'Do you pray to God for even more gold?' the Sufi asked.

" 'Yes, of course. Every day I pray that God might increase my wealth.'

"The Sufi handed the bag of gold back to the merchant. 'I cannot take your money. A wealthy man cannot take money from a beggar.'

"The merchant was shocked. After all, he was the wealthy one and the Sufi was the beggar. Then the Sufi explained, 'I am wealthy because I am content with whatever God sends me, and you are the beggar because, in spite of all you have, you are constantly begging God for more.' ”