We had lived in Pinehurst for several months when Trudy learned about a place called Furnitureland South in High Point, NC; a city generally referred to as the “Furniture Capital of the World.”

We had “downsized” our stuff a bit when we moved to Pinehurst from suburban Minneapolis. Now that we had purchased a home and moved our “stuff” in, the time came to fill furniture “gaps” in multiple rooms. After perusing various local furniture stores, Trudy determined that a visit to Furnitureland South was needed.  I encouraged her go and to enjoy the day, thus providing me with a day to work on my golf game.

However, as the day drew near for her trip to the Furniture Capital of the World, I sensed that she was experiencing furniture “creep.” Chances are that if you have ever been shopping, you have experienced this strange phenomenon. It could be house creep, car creep, remodeling project creep. One of Murphy’s law is again at work: 
– “Why is it that what best suits our taste lies just above our ceiling price?”
– “Why can’t we just end the project here?”

As her list of furniture items was “creeping’ upwards, I was sure I heard her talking to the local U-Haul company about renting a truck for the trip. YIKES! It was at that point that I determined that lowering my golf handicap while she visited Furnitureland could become quite costly. So, I determined that I would accompany her to Furnitureland South. It would be an adventure!

And yes, it was an adventure. We drove into the parking lot and saw the largest bedroom dresser in the entire universe – 85 feet tall in French Provincial style, if I am not mistaken.  It was incredibly impressive, but also a tad bit “gauche.”

We parked the car (no U-haul truck), walked UNDER the dresser (no dust “moozies” to be seen) and entered the building. We were warmly greeted and given an “orientation” about the store where I learned that the store had 1.3 million sq. ft.; 1000 “reputable brands” of furniture and two restaurants. The “hunt” began for new furniture – we were armed with tape measures, room dimensions, and fabric pieces.    

Well, many hours later (really – it was. I am not making this up!) we had still not purchased ANYTHING!  However, I do believe that I was a finalist for the “I love shopping with you, honey” endurance award. 

How is it possible that one cannot find something one likes (within your budget, of course!) in 1.3 million sq. ft. of showroom space?  This is an enigma. 

However, as the day was winding down, there it was – the PERFECT dining room table.  Out came the tape measure, then the fabric materials, – PERFECT!  The price – ALMOST PERFECT! The furniture gods finally smiled upon the weary husband, the purchase was completed, and a date established to deliver it. “And so, Dean and Trudy lived happily ever after as they enjoyed their dining room table.”   

(Very important editor’s note here – you must read this…) Okay, I overplayed Trudy’s shopping taste and style. She is quite conscientious and is an incredibly wise steward of our home, goods and finances!

After seeing countless dining room tables that day, when we saw this table and that it fit our room, we made a decision that has served us well over the years. 

So where is this story leading? It takes me to John 6. Jesus gathered together a group of 12 men from various locations and professions that eventually became his ‘disciples.’ From occasional contacts and excursions with Jesus, they ultimately “left their boats” to be in the constant company of Jesus. These 12 men were joined by a host of other “disciples” of Jesus – a larger circle of people that were receptive and responsive to his teachings. However, in John 6 we learn that the teaching of Jesus challenged this larger group to go deeper in their discipleship experience. John 6:66 tells us that as a result of this message “from this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” Jesus then turned to his 12 disciples and asked them “Do you also want to leave?” This was a SIGNIFICANT moment in their spiritual journey. Peter took the lead and responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go – you have the words of eternal life.” 

For some reason, I associate my shopping day in Furnitureland South with Peter’s great declaration. Peter and his 11 colleagues had shopped what the world had to offer, and when they discovered Jesus, their search ceased. They embarked upon a journey with Jesus such that each and every day brought a satisfaction to their souls far beyond what the world offered. 

People spend their entire lives shopping for ‘stuff’ that they think will bring them satisfaction. To find Jesus is to realize that the search is over and to revel in this: “To whom shall we go – you, Jesus, are the one who satisfies.”

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