Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fortune cookie prophecy

Do you believe God can speak through a fortune cookie? I sure do.

I was feeling really low last week. Looking for a job is brutal on your self esteem. Especially when you're looking for a journalism job in New York City. The pundits say the economy is "bouncing back" but to me it feels more like molasses. Seems like every reporter is out of work, about to get laid off, joining the dark side (public relations) or switching careers and forgetting the written word altogether. The odds out there aren't good, they say. But I'm kind of having a Han Solo moment. "Never tell me the odds," he tells C-3PO as they are fleeing the Imperial fleet. 

As much as I try to keep my chin up, mustering a can-do attitude on a daily basis wears on you. Day in, day out telling the monster of self doubt to please bugger off starts to chafe. I was beginning to wonder if visualizing a triumphant life in New York and those "Just Do It" Nike ads I was playing over and over in my head was all just bullsh*t. So in my desperation I asked God for a sign.

"I'm tired, this looking-for-a-job thing is getting old, and I just want to get on with the next chapter of my life," my bratty inner-child whined to the creator of the universe. "I need your help. I feel lost. I need a sign. Please, anything."

We were craving Chinese food. It's hard to find good Asian grub in Cleveland. Thankfully the joint down the street serves up a decent chow fun. The kids left no greasy noodle behind and the husband and I overate. The waiter brought the check and obligatory fortune cookies. I cracked mine open. "Your next interview will result in a job," it said. 

And there it was. My sign. A message in a cookie.

I can't really explain how or why I know he was speaking to me in that moment. But if God can communicate to Gideon through a fleece and Moses through a burning bush, I'm pretty sure a tiny piece of paper isn't a stretch of the imagination. What I love about it is that it's so modern. And that's what God is: relevant to our time. Besides, I don't believe in flukes or dumb luck or coincidence. Nothing is random or happenstance. 

It was just what I needed. A little encouragement. A gentle nudge to keep pressing forward. To not give up.

Thank you, God.