I have to choke it down every time– the mildly flavored, sharply crisp cookie– if you can even call it that. But choke it down I do. Every. Time. The whole thing, without a crumb to spare. Why? Well, sometime, somewhere, someone during my childhood told me if I don’t eat my entire fortune cookie, the wise words hidden inside wouldn’t come true. And adult Jen by default still follows the fortune cookie rule, just as I have a tough time jumping into water when I can’t see the bottom because my sister once told me there was a Loch Ness Monster of Lake Powell… but that is a childhood fear for another day.
Even though they are rarely fortunes anymore, but instead often random sayings or statements, I still eagerly break open the shell of my fortune cookie to read what wisdom lies curled up inside. During a recent lunch with a dear friend, the Asian chain restaurant food Gods granted me this little factoid: “You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story.” I dare say it suits me pretty well, don’t you think? Even still, I kind of wish my crunchy biscuit would have contained even the smallest glimmer of insight into my “future.”
What is with society’s fascination with prediction of the unknown? Psychics and mediums and fortunes–our craving for insight into what hardships or happiness lie ahead– is insatiable. Anyone out there have a Magic 8 Ball as a kid? A friend of mine did and I remember spending an entire afternoon shaking and hoping with crossed fingers only to often see the dreaded “ask again later,” as if the little 8-ball elf was on siesta and would be back after his lunch break.
For the great majority of my life, I have believed I make my own luck. That my hard work, perseverance, persistence, and positive attitude would make up for any cracks I walked on that broke my mother’s back or more likely, my lack of perfect timing or connections. However, the older I get, the more me thinks there is something to being in the right place at the right time for the right opportunity with the right people on your side. I recently read a saying on Pinterest (yes, that Pinterest) that stated:
DON’T STRESS THE COULD HAVES
IF IT SHOULD HAVE
IT WOULD HAVE
I can think of many a time in my life where I thought gee whiz, this is great! This is exactly where I should be for exactly the perfect thing to happen! And then something completely blindsides me, and my path is painfully redirected down a street I had never considered before.
I have certainly known those people whose paths seem easier than mine– who wake up to amazing opportunities I have worked and strived and prayed for, then look around and wonder how they landed in such a fortunate place. And my, that frustrating and discouraging. But, if I am a testament of anything, it is that God is in control of my life– how I landed in the family, state, religion, career, place– that I am in. Not some computer generating random thoughts onto thin strips of paper to be inserted into a plastic wrapped treat. My road has not been easy at times, but it has been the one that is meant for me. My potential. My growth. My future.
Luck? Nope. Not for me. Fate? You bet. For I believe my Heavenly Father has a plan for me– for each of us– that is a better fit than anything I could have dreamed up for myself.
But will I continue to eagerly eat a fortune cookie the next time I get Chinese takeout? Yep. I’m always curious to hear a second opinion 🙂