One of my favorite toasts to give any time I raise a glass goes like this:
“To faith, family, and friends, and fortune will follow.”
One of my favorite mentors, “Uncle Bill,” taught me this toast more than 25 years ago. It’s all about priorities and how if everything in your life follows this order, no matter what, fortune will follow.
But back when I first learned of this toast, I’m sure each “f” in the line-up was loaded with a different meaning than it has today. My faith had yet to be tested to the level it has been now, and, back then, my family was much younger, and my role as a father had a very different focus. And even though I’ve always been blessed with lots of friends, my truest friends hadn’t yet journeyed with me as long as they have now.
Of course, the word fortune carried with it a different meaning, too. Its’ placement in the order of this toast seemed to serve as a promise of success and the kind of financial gain I think any guy in the prime of his life would define similarly. But when I reflect on that word in this toast today, I realize that the faith, the family, and the friends are the fortune.
When life has tested me — the way it has tested all of this year in particular — I’ve finally come to realize the irreplaceable value of faith, family, and friends. And with a closer look, I can also see how each of the three “f”s increase the value of the fortune.
Your faith gives you a reason to believe, but it only grows deeper when hardships inevitably come your way.
Your family grows stronger when you choose to endure every moment together, but your inner circle grows wider when you see your friends as family, too.
Your friendships turn from transitional to steadfast when it’s not easy to stick around, but for those who do, the bond makes you feel unbreakable.
When you step back and see how these three priorities have been tested, your fortune increases exponentially. And when you define the value of your life by the love you share with the people who gather around your table and grace you with their enduring presence, you suddenly see that these priorities have made you wealthy indeed.
May you find this kind of fortune in your life, and experience only love around your table!