Things are not the way they’re supposed to be. No matter what we believe or how we express it, we are all intuitively aware of this reality. We seek meaning, purpose and life in a thousand different places, in a thousand different ways… We hunger for more. And while we may get a taste of what we crave, it is a brief and fleeting one that often only serves to remind us of our hunger rather than satisfy it.
Hoping for the entrée, we get a free sample.
But what if our deepest hunger wasn’t actually for what we craved? What if meaning and purpose were the result of a full stomach rather than the entrée at a feast? What if our cravings pointed to an even deeper longing than we thought?
Growing up, I (Brad) used to swing on a tire from a massive American Pin-oak in my mom’s backyard. When it started to die from a fungus, we cut it down, kiln-dried it over several months, and then cut the wood into planks to build the mother-of-all dining tables.
And it is truly beautiful. The fungus left black lines (or “spalting”) that trace the curve of the wood grain, separating deep red hues from pale gold areas where the fungus discolored the tree. Over the last several years, that table has been the constant host of quiet dinners and crazy parties. It has witnessed tears of celebration and sorrow, sighs of contentment and helplessness. It has been the setting of severe grief and loss, but also remarkable personal breakthroughs and reconciled marriages.
In short, it has been the single greatest catalyst of human flourishing in our home.