Sunday, December 9, 2012


When I completed graduate school, the contract for the job I’d had for the previous two years also ended. I worked for the next year at the seminary (yes, seminary—long story) I had attended. I worked in public relations developing brochures, writing news releases, creating displays, and making minimum wage. When I moved on from that job, my co-workers took me for a going-away luncheon at a nearby Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal came the fortune cookies.

My co-workers each gave me their fortune cookies, insisting that I would need all the good luck and fortune I could get as I moved on to my next career. I cracked open one cookie after another, reading each fortune as I went.

          Your road will be paved with success.
          An exciting destination awaits.
          New friends and new challenges are in your future.
          Miles separate friends, but they do not end friendships.

I was amazed that each and every fortune had special meaning to me. Sometimes I am a hopelessly naïve Midwesterner, and this was one of those times. I didn’t realize until the last cookie, that my co-workers had placed fortunes they had created for me in the cookies. Then I read the last fortune—You need to get back to work if you expect to be paid.

The laugh was on me, but the sentiments of those fortunes lingered in my mind long after I had moved.

Fortunes are still important me. But now it seems many fortunes you find inside those crunchy cookies aren’t fortunes at all. Often they are just quotes, or a statement of fact. Every now and then, however, I find a fortune worth holding on to. Shortly after signing my contract for COWBOY CHRISTMAS, I started saving fortunes that I wanted to come true. My collection includes these:

Opportunity is knocking at your front door.
Right now there’s an energy pushing you to stay on your path.
Nothing happens unless first a dream.
A new business venture is on the horizon.
You will soon receive an offer you cannot refuse.

Of course, I’ve probably thrown away four fortunes for every one I’ve kept. Who wants to hang on to a fortune you don’t want, or hope won’t come true? But holding on to the good ones . . . now that’s the key. A positive thought hidden inside a fortune cookie takes on special meaning when you want that fortune to come true. Then the forutne becomes a mantra, wish, hope, dream, goal. Once you start thinking those positive thoughts—or “putting them out in the universe” as my friend, Sharon, likes to say—you start acting and living in the truth of those fortunes. What you believe, is what you become.

If you could write a fortune today to describe the next step you want to take along your writing path, what would you write? What would your hope, dream, wish, or goal be? Write it down. You can even stick it inside a fortune cookie if you want. Then start living your new fortune. And keep writing.

This is a photo of my Shrine to the Sacred and Silly above my desk.
In the back right-hand corner you can see my fortunes sticking out of a small, white urn.

1 comment:

Kathy Ellen Davis said...

What a great fortune story, Rob!
I love fortune cookies!
I don't know if I would want to make up my own, but I have a story about one!

I was with a good friend this summer and a few of his friends. We all went out for Thai food and we got fortune cookies at the end of the meal.

We went around reading our fortunes.
Mine was so lackluster I can't even remember it.

Then my friend turned to me and said,
"I think I got your fortune."

Of course now we all wanted to hear!
So he holds it out in front of him, all official, and reads, slowly:

"Just be yourself.
You are wonderful."

And he just handed it to me and said,
"Save that in case you ever forget it."

Fortunes are so fun!
I hope you ratio of bad to good ones goes down and many good fortunes and wishes for your books too :)