Q: As you look back on everything you’ve done in your wonderful life, what are you most proud of?
A: I never thought that was a question I should answer. It’s not so much a question of pride; it’s deep satisfaction. Joy in this world comes from self-fulfillment. Joy is a more profound experience than mere happiness. Happiness connotes pleasure. Joy can include, and not exclude, pain. The moments of great satisfaction in my life are many, for which I’m deeply grateful. Most of all because I’m a pastor and my pastoral relations have been some of the most satisfying experiences of my life. After all, when I was at Yale for 18 years, I spent almost every afternoon when I was in town — and that was most of the time — just counseling students, one on one. People who invite you into the garden of their soul are really wonderful people. They’re never boring. I don’t bear fools’ company gladly, but people who are deeply personal and willing to air their conflicts — that’s very satisfying. (more…)