As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, I’m supposed to rely on the Bible as my rule of faith. Indeed I do. The Latin phrase, sola scriptura, is used to describe the doctrine to which most conservative Protestants ascribe: by scripture alone.
In general, I’m OK with that, although the more conservative among us take it too far, declaring that all scripture is to be taken literally. Taken to its extreme, this would lead to some pretty bizarre ideas. For example, Psalm 91 says:
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge…
If we take this verse literally, God must be a bird. But He isn’t so we’re missing something. Some of scripture is poetry and uses poetic imagery never meant to be taken literally.
The other extreme to which sola scriptura can be taken is to believe that God never reveals Himself through any other means than scripture. Even the Bible denies this claim. The writer of Psalm 19, believed to be King David, sings:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
So His creation speaks truth to us as well. This Christmas season, He used another, more unlikely channel of communication to get my attention. A fortune from a fortune cookie.
Chinese food is a favorite around the holidays, especially New Year’s. What with everyone making resolutions (which will be broken faster than a two-year-old’s Christmas toy) fortune cookies were made for this time of year. I love the cookies and the fortunes. It helps that I’ve gotten some of the coolest fortunes over the years. The most outrageous one ever said the following (I am not making this up):
You are the only person who can determine the whereabouts of Yma Sumac. Do it.
This was before the age of Google and Wikipedia, so taking on that task was daunting. I’m proud to say I succeeded.
The best fortune of all was one I got with my meal on New Year’s Eve 1984:
A very special child will soon enter your life.
Ten days later, my first daughter was born. Can’t get much better than that.
Now to this year and a message that honestly shook me.
For the past several weeks, I’ve had all the motivation of a slug. I’ve written nothing, including blog posts. (Has anyone noticed?) I’ve accomplished next to nothing. I’ve been lax in many of my responsibilities. What I needed was a good swift kick in the glutes. It came in the form of this fortune:
How about that for a direct hit? It wasn’t scripture, but I believe 100% it was a message from God to me. Since getting whacked upside the head with that, I’ve finally made some progress in projects I’d been putting off. You’re reading one of them.
It’s unlikely I’m the only one who got that fortune. I can’t imagine the fortune cookie people make many one-offs. Could it possibly have been meant for you, too? Perhaps that’s why I’m writing this post: To spread the message to others who need it.
If you’re one of my readers with MS, then I hazard a guess that this word could be aimed at you. When it comes to MS, moving is one of the best things we can do. (Another biggie is staying connected… in person.) I partially credit that idea with the current good state of my MS. (See the “B” part of the PB&J MS Treatment for details.)
There you have it: God speaking to you through me: Get moving. Don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head. After all, He spoke through another jackass once.