It figures I would start this 365-days-of-posting project with an homage to an item of food.
We need to cultivate a capability to see beyond the literal meaning of a thing if we are to grasp its full significance. There are many ways to “look” at an object or an event or a story – many levels on which to consider it. Analogically, metaphorically, symbolically, allegorically, tropologically – as a teacher of literature, I could go on and on while you fall into a boredom-induced coma.
However, there is one smart-person word I would like to employ as I consider the wonder of my wife’s homemade sticky buns: anagogical. It comes from the Greek word that means “ascent.” When we interpret something anagogically, we are holding to a belief that a visible thing sheds light on a truth that is invisible or eternal.
What does this have to do with ooey-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth homemade sticky buns? Well, as I stuffed bite after bite of these delectable treats into my mouth this morning (there are few better ways to begin a year, I believe), I was struck by the thought that, when it comes to living our lives, we find the most enjoyment with things we accomplish naturally, without artificial means. Sure, we could have bought those pre-packaged Cinnabun rolls, but nothing compares to the taste of your own creation when you get it right.
Anagogically put, giving yourself personally over to something – even to the extent that you risk all of the flour in the house – is much more meaningful than relying on the status quo.
May you trust in your ability to create. And don’t worry if you fail from time to time – true joy is in the act of creation, not the finished product. In the seemingly never-ending quest for truth, may you not be afraid to wrestle with hard ideas. Some dough can be tough to roll out, but stay the course; you’ll eventually get it to lay flat, and what comes next is divine.