It's a big deal at my house to go out on Sunday for lunch. This is really the only day of the week we do this (drive through and the dollar menu don't count.) But on Sundays, we all decide on some place to eat lunch and actually sit down together and share before we are completely overcome by the need for a nap...and of course by we, I mean me.
Like most Sundays, where to go is always a lively discussion...one child wants one thing, the other wants something else, Dad wants cheap, and I just want to eat somewhere that I can hear our conversation and don't have to clean up afterward. Today's lucky winner was a Chinese restaurant in town. On their buffet, we're bound to find something everyone will eat. It's not exactly cheap, but Dad was wearing down from hunger so he agreed as well.
The meal wasn't spectacular, but eventually my teenage daughter got over her angst and started joking around and smiling. My son started his 5th grade humor and yet somehow managed to steer clear of potty jokes long enough for us to enjoy our meal. Yes, it was a pretty good meal and as we finished, I reached for MY favorite part of the meal, the fortune cookie. Both children had theirs and were trying to call each other names in Chinese, my husband read his and tossed it on the table, and I expectantly opened mine to find.....it was empty. My fortune cookie had no fortune in it! Not even a little one! No funny saying, no Chinese word, not even a lucky number! My face just fell. How could I get a cookie with no fortune?
Of course, I had to figure out how this would tie into Random Thoughts, so I came home and googled fortune cookies. What exactly is our "fortune"? Of course, the ones in the cookie are supposed to tell you something that's going to happen, but did you know that some of the original fortune cookies contained scripture? Then, after doing a check for mention of "our fortune" in the Bible, I discovered a number of different references to "restoring our fortune". Now I was on to something.
One of the first references to fortunes in the Bible is from Deut. 30:2 - 4, "and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back." When we return to God and obey him with all our heart and soul, then the Lord will restore our fortunes.
Right now, many people in America and around the world have "lost their fortunes", and here is a promise from God that if we return to Him and obey Him, then He will restore them. I'm not talking just about money, but also about the kind of fortunes that money can't buy....family, friends, joy, peace....faith. Those are the kinds of treasures we can enjoy now AND lay up in heaven where moth and thief cannot destroy.
Everyday the news is filled with too many who did not realize that true treasure isn't wealth....those who lost the things the world offers and with it lost their hope. They got to the end of what they thought would satisfy only to find the promises were empty. They truly lost their fortunes.
Those of us who know where our treasure really lies must return to God and obey Him with all our heart and soul not only for ourselves, but for those around us. For when they reach the end of their "meal" and reach for the fortune cookie, we don't want them to discover that it is empty. We can share the good news with others that this is not all there is. God has a plan for each of us, a plan for good and not for evil. A plan for hope and a future. We can help show them where true fortune lies....we can point them to Jesus.
Now that I think about it, I guess my fortune cookie wasn't so empty after all....it held a lesson on looking to God when what the world gives you is an empty promise. I think I've found my true "fortune" in God.