I think…there is…hope that, if not tomorrow or the next day, then some fine day, somehow, life will finally give us the present that, when we open it, will turn out to be the one we have waited for so long, the one that will fill the empty place, which is the peace that passeth all understanding, which is the truth, salvation, whatever we want to call it. But one by one, as we open the presents, no matter how rich and wondrous they are, we discover that not one of them by itself, nor even all of them taken together, is the one of our deepest desiring — that ultimately, although her face is beautiful and draws us to her, life by herself does not have that final present to give.
Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Sign by the Highway”
I highly recommend this book of sermons by Frederick Buechner; this particular sermon, The Sign by the Highway, is very powerful.
How long does it take us to finally realize that “life by herself” can’t give us what we long for?