Fortune Cookies

Even a Fortune Cookie Can Offer Good Advice

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, claimed that he suffered from my good advice for years until I moved away. One piece of advice that sure got him puffing more vigorously was my warning that his cigarette smoking was a danger to his health. My old neighbor snapped that it was his health and that he would smoke five packs of cigarettes a day if he wanted to do so. He also added that I should shut up about his health. He said that my good advice was as valuable as the wisdom you get out of a fortune cookie. I thought about Ed’s rejection of my good advice when I walked down First Avenue in Chilliwack yesterday. There I saw a worker on her work break, outside her store smoking her cigarette. I thought I should mention that it was dangerous to her health, but I didn’t do it.

Would you accept or reject the advice given to you by a stranger on the street? The next time I talk to Ed my old neighbor by Skype, I will tell him about some folks who took some good advice, and it turned to be a great, once-in-a-lifetime experience for them. Dan Rothman and his nine-year-old son came to Chilliwack from New Jersey being advised that giant monster fish still swim in the Fraser River. They went out fishing with a company called Great River Fishing Adventures, and the nine year-old-son, Kegan, caught a 600 pound Great White Sturgeon on the Fraser River. I have the article cut out of the Chilliwack paper as proof for Ed.

Acting on good advice may prove to be better than good. We do not see all advice as good, so we reject what doesn’t seem like good advice to us. We may never be ready for any advice but our own. Doing what we want may have deadly results both physically and spiritually but, we demand our personal freedom to choose what we do or not do. Many sing Frank Sinatra’s tribute to himself, “I did it my way!” How many folks are frustrated because they feel trapped by situations and circumstances where they cannot do it their way?

Doing it my way is highly overrated. Ed used to tell me that there was no other way but his way unless his wife Ruby was within earshot. The Bible tells of folks who learned God’s word is never overrated. Loving God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength and one’s neighbor as oneself enriches Christian lives because it is God’s way. God’s way calls Christians to love God and our neighbor first and then, ourselves, last. God’s love is greater than our attempts to live in love for God and others. As Christians, we do not brag that we love God and our neighbor perfectly, or even well. We live by faith in Jesus Christ God’s Son, who acted in perfect love on our behalf. Saying that I did it my way may lead to regrets. It isn’t possible to always know that, what we are doing is the best way of living our lives. Christians trust that God’s way of love for us through faith in Christ is the best way now and forever

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Raymond Maher
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