Every now and then I order Chinese takeout for lunch--vegetable mai fun--thin rice noodles stir fried with an assortment of fresh veggies. Yum! And each time I save the fortune cookie for last, perhaps with a cup of green tea.
Now usually I read Chinese cookie fortunes with equal measures of skepticism and fun. But the last five fortunes have begun to sound like the UCC slogan, that God is still speaking, only on little slips of white paper. And this all started when I sent in my profile and began hearing from search committees. Here are those five fortunes, in the order that I received them:
- Yet by calling full, you created emptiness.
- The possibility of a career change is near.
- All things come to him [sic] who waits.
- A person with a determined heart frightens problems away.
- Bide your time, for success is near.
Now you may think I am reading into these. I probably am. Don't we do the same when we read the Bible for guidance? But what if it's also my hopes and desires calling out into the unknown and the unknown answering back? Is that any more ridiculous than thinking an ancient book can speak to me in the present? And by the way I believe the Bible does still speak, the way that God still speaks through you and me and community and actions and strangers and experiences.
From these fortunes I've chosen my 'word' for 2012: a determined heart. Not only because of my search for a settled position but also because I'm 46 and my father died of a heart attack at 46. I don't want to just 'get through' this year so I can be 47. I want to embrace it, savor it, delight in it, wrestle and struggle and cry and laugh and be real through it all.
So who's to say the universe doesn't speak through fortune cookies? Now I'm looking forward to the next word.