Yesterday we had lunch at a Chinese food restaurant. It happens to be the best Canadian fusion Chinese food in the area. After our meal we opened the fortune cookies and had a good laugh over the little "fortunes" inside.
Afterward though I got thinking about those little strips of paper and the words of wisdom or prophesy or whatever you want to call the little "fortune phrases". I thought again about what mine had written on it and I thought about how so many people truly believe in those sorts of fortune cookie prophesies, palm reading, seances, astrology and other forms of future seeking. When I thought about the words from my own fortune cookie I thought about how much I would like to believe what it said:
"Contentment is just around the corner for you. Look forward!!"
Now, what middle aged person struggling with family and health and general life issues would not want to believe that???!??
However, as a former student of the occult, many many loooong years ago, I know the trap emotionally that springs open and shut when we try to delve into these realms. There are so many prophetic sounding words and phrases in all these methods of future seeking that are worded very generally and can be interpreted in whatever way makes us most comfortable and secure. So much of ourselves and our own ideas can infiltrate whatever we read or are told in such situations. Nothing is definite, most of what is read or said is incomplete, there is very little concreteness upon which to rest.
I would love to be able to read the Bible that way....lots of people do I suppose....where everything I read I can interpret to be open ended, to be subject only to my own views, to ignore the parts I don't want to understand because of their implications of accountability between myself and God, to never delve deeper through study and prayer, to let my faith just be in some undefined and undefinable higher power who only reveals herself when it is convenient for me, who does my bidding and who requires no concrete evidence of my faith in her...those darned evidences my God does require, like out workings on earth of unconditional love to all people, peace, patience, long suffering with joyfulness, doing unto others as I would have them to unto me....those things that require action on my part that is for the good of others, sometimes inconveniently so, that require a death to myself rather than focusing on "exploring and reaching MY full potential" on my own apart from God. There are a number of concrete instructions throughout the Bible that can't be easily reinterpreted and that bring me true security for the future.
My little fortune cookie has set off a train of thought for me this week that will keep me on my spiritual toes, checking myself for God's evidence of contentment.....
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6