The first fortune (from a fortune cookie) I ever saved was during college. It is the first one I remember, not because it was the first fortune cookie I ate, but because it was about that time that I began to doubt my future. I doubted what I was going to do with my future and whether that future would be as bright and happy as I imagined it as a boy.

I was an aspiring writer at the time (I suppose I still am) caught somewhere between believing I could write better than anyone in my classes and realizing that there were people out there with better stories and skill at writing than me. I had recently come across someone who could write the spots off a leopard at the same time that I was vainly failing to write adequately well the story that was so brilliant and moving in my mind.

It was after one writing class that a few of us went to Chinese for lunch and I was searching for confirmation. My fortune at the end of lunch read, “You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book.” I wanted to believe it. And I wanted it to be more than coincidence or contrived words from some poor Chinese farmer who had had to come up with 5,000 unique and witty fortunes for the cookie company he had just started working for. So I equated that little line with direct encouragement from God.

I have saved my fortunes over the years and many of them have come true. Another one I got in college read, “You will travel far and wide, both pleasure and business.” Since then, I have traveled to over twenty different countries for pleasure and work. With results like this, I have begun to expect God to meet me in my fortunes and deliver personal revelation.

I can imagine someone reading this and deciding to visit the Chinese buffet everyday until they get the fortune they want, or ordering a bulk box of cookies and popping them open like peanuts looking for that one nugget of truth that will save their day.

And that’s where we fail. We look for answers in the newspaper in the morning, by calling the physic hotlines and hoping that the answers to life will be given to us.
Sometimes we can confuse what the world gives us as true or from God, when it is nothing more than man’s word. We can make the mistake and think that God wants us to do something, when in reality it is only something we want to be true.

I think I am mistaken in suggesting that fortunes are God’s method of communicating. He has already given us a much better method. The Rhema word. The spoken word of God. The Bible. There is truth, advice, encouragement and promises throughout it, for every stage of life, from marriage, to sex, to raising kids, to our purpose, to what we should say. It tells us who we are even when we do not feel like it.

So if we are seeking to hear from God, He has already spoken.

I do believe that He brings truth to us through people’s actions, words, the weather and circumstances to help us along, but not to supplant the spoken truth of the Bible.

The answers we seek have already been given to us, we just need the audacity of faith (to step out when there is no assurance) to believe and act on them and live by them.

© Seth Crossman