Sometimes the Fortune Cookie Gets It Right

Although I rarely eat fortune cookies, I always open them up to read the “fortune.”  The message I read is often not a prediction of my future, but rather a proverb or observation, such as the one I got today:  “Little and often makes much.”  It’s an interesting observation and one that would be hard to dispute, but it doesn’t have any real meaning for me.

Sometimes fortune cookies do make predictions.  Recently my niece’s fortune informed her that she would soon receive a raise.  She’s only 15 and not yet working, so it’s not likely to come true.  And, of course, it is totally unrealistic to think that a strip of paper found in a Chinese cookie could accurately predict anyone’s future.  Despite that, I am fascinated by the number of times a fortune cookie message seems to be have been written specifically for the person who received it.

At the same lunch in which my niece received a prediction of a raise, my fortune cookie message read:  “You lead a useful life no matter what riches are coming to you.”  At the time I wished I had swapped cookies with my niece; I have a job and I could really use a raise.  Despite that, I had to admit that the fortune was the right one for me.  I’ve kept it in my purse since then, and each time I read it, I am encouraged.

Although I have an MBA degree, I have never earned much money.  Currently, my salary is almost exactly equal to the average salary for a woman working full-time in the United States regardless of age, education, or experience.  Not bad, but not great.  I doubt that I will ever be rich in a financial sense.

Yet, I am rich in all the truly important ways.  I have a wonderful family who love me despite my many shortcomings. I have a great job that I enjoy going to each day. (I don’t enjoy getting up in the morning to go to my job, but that’s another blog for another day.)  All my material needs are met, as well as my spiritual needs. 

My job is rewarding in many ways.  I get to meet with clients who are trying to start new businesses.  I give them guidance and direction, free of charge.  They come in apprehensive and full of questions.  Ususally they leave with answers and ready to face the frightening world of business ownership.  Even when I don’t feel like I was able to help them, they usually thank me profusely for my time and assistance. 

Outside of work, I believe my life is also useful. I attend a spirit-filled church where I can worship Jesus Christ freely and where I can train up the next generation of girls to be Christian leaders in our church and community.  We teach the girls the truths of God’s word and instill in them a love of serving others, so that they too will lead useful lives.  One of the ways we do this is through visiting residents of area nursing homes and assisted living centers.  The girls bring joy to the residents through singing, conversation, and interactions.

This time the fortune cookie did get it right.  I may never be rich, but I hope to always lead a useful life.

What fortune cookie messages have you gotten that really applied to you?  What’s the most inaccurate fortune cookie message you have received?

Author: Susan Elizabeth Ball

Author of the Christian fiction series Restored Hearts. Book 1, Restorations, was published in October 2010 and Book 2, Reconciliations, in October 2011.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes the Fortune Cookie Gets It Right”

  1. I don’t care for Chinese food, so I rarely get fortune cookies. I have a similar feeling towards sermons. I’m always amazed at how the sermon I hear always seems to be written for me.
    I like the fortune found in your cookie. I might change your fortune to say – you lead a useful life and your life is full of riches. (Though I hope you get a raise, soon!)

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