I finish eating some Chinese take-out, and my hand breaks open the stale fortune cookie. As a Christian, a random, tiny slip of paper in a small treat is something that makes me smile or even slightly giggle, but it never seriously determines my destiny. Today’s message inspires me with a potential award-winning idea for a product that could generate millions for The Food Network.
The paper informs me, “The world will soon be ready for your talent.” My mind hears Jackie Chan’s character Mr. Han from The Karate Kid reading it to me. As the broken English sage speaks, “The world will soon be ready for your talent,” a thought occurs to me. What the world needs is a new kind of fortune cookie. A fortune cookie that actually tells you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The new creation my brain conceives is “Fortune Cookies for Realists.”
The same wise sage voice says again, “The world will soon be…” abruptly stops and says, “The world will never be ready for your talent, as you have no talent.” I knew that message wasn’t for me, as I have at least a few talents. But these sayings might motivate someone to change their future by attempting to prove the slip of paper wrong.
Listen, as the voice of a wise, old sage highlights a few examples of Fortune Cookies for Realists:
• The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but you won’t even get off the couch
to a take one step.
• This is as good as it’s going to get, so suck it up Buttercup and get over it.
• Hey, Chumbo, lose some weight, oh that’s right, you love food and have no self-control.
• Get a job and move out from your parent’s basement.
• Don’t look down, but you spilled plum sauce on your new shirt.
• A blessing will soon stare at you while you take a nap and miss it.
• There is change coming in your future, so start looking underneath the seats in your car for
a quarter, two dimes, and a penny.
You get the drift of the kinds of messages that Fortune Cookies for Realists proposes to articulate to its clientele. There is a tremendous market for this product, as many people are realists. One dictionary defines a realist as “a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly.” In some ways, these fortune cookies should appeal to all of us. We all need to accept the reality of what is happening in our lives. There’s no benefit to denying our present circumstances. Instead, let’s come up with a workable plan to effectively deal with the reality that is staring each one of us in the face.
Just as there may be a market for Fortune Cookies for Realists, maybe we need a new Bible translation, The Bible for Realists. A Bible that actually tells us the truth about us and our future. A Bible that won’t sugarcoat the realities of everyday life. A Bible that…
Come to think of it, all of the Bibles I currently own will do all of the above for you and me. For example, Romans 8:35 (NASU) asks us “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” The Bible never waves a magic wand over our lives, and God never tells us to pretend that life is nothing but rainbows and butterflies. Life throws a pretty mean curveball. With the joys of life comes some horrible things. God’s Word reveals the truth about the realities we face in our lives. Our real lives, not cleaned up, watered down, reality denying lives; just our lives as they are.
A few verses later, Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) shares this powerful truth: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
A Bible for Realists shows us that life is messy. Sometimes, life attacks us with some pretty awful things like tribulations and distress, or even the death of a loved one. But the best news is that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Right now, I ask you to break open your Fortune Cookie for Realists and read “God loves you very much…no matter what comes your way!” I encourage you to be willing to allow that message to determine the destiny of your life.