I ordered red and green fortune cookies for our family Christmas gathering. One of my sons-in-law had shared his family tradition of eating Asian food some Christmases, so I expanded our traditional family meal to include his traditions as well.
I placed a handful of fortune cookies in a basket, so everyone could choose their own. Each person broke his or hers open, then read it aloud. One son-in-law started, followed by the other. My youngest daughter opened her daughter’s. Then I read mine:
When you give from the heart, you will receive holiday joy.
Both my daughters chuckled. They opened their cookies to find the same message.
There probably weren’t many message options, but both daughters decided to try again. My youngest got a different message that time, but not my oldest. She was determined to break the string, so she opened a third one. It was, again, the same.
At least, it was a good message to receive, right?
I don’t put a lot of stock in a piece of paper I find in a cookie, but I thought it was fun that the girls and I received the same message—almost as much fun as rediscovering we all prefer the center pieces of a cake.
I almost made the silly comment that we are a “fortune-ate” family. But I quietly savored the moment. It was just another reminder throughout the day of how blessed I am to get to do life with my girls and their families.
I know each of us is in different situations. And our situations change through the years and seasons of life. There have been times that our family table was thick with stress. Perhaps that makes me even more grateful for the moments of fullness.
You don’t need a cookie to savor your “fortune,” which I prefer to think of in the context of purpose. You can focus on and appreciate your purpose and all that fills it in this season no matter what the situation. You can anticipate the future and cultivate seeds that help your relationships grow. It’s going to take humility and honesty, which is a bit harder to handle than opening a cookie, but the results are a lot sweeter.