First, you must know that I'm into numbers and their symbols and meanings. Some think that numerology is "evil" but I see them as just one more language that God or the Universe can use to guide us. For instance, the recurrence of 7's in my life when I needed to forgive someone (Jesus says forgive 7 times 77 times), or the frequency of 17 in my life (I got sober on the 17th). By the way, today is 7-17.
With this in mind, I went into Denver International Airport (which I hate normally), with a decision to look at the masses of travelers (who usually annoy the hell out of me) with a different perspective. I chose to see them as the light from which the originated, as God intended them, rather than judge them based on whatever distressing physical disguise they were wearing at the moment.
I found that thinking this way gave me great peace, and the ideas for my latest book, Jackal (the sequel to Strays) began to flow.
I had a three-hour layover in Vegas, and I spent it writing ... but the slot machines in the airport kept calling to me. I had exactly $20 in my pocket, and it was my last $20. Now, let me explain what I mean by "last $20" ...
Recently, my wife and I have been hit rather hard financially. It's been a struggle, and it got so bad that I almost canceled my trip to Denver to record an audiobook of Strays. After all, the time spent in Denver would be a week away from work making much-needed money. Just before I left, we looked at the bank account, and the most it could spare me for my trip was that $20. No more, lest we have no money to pay bills.
So there I was in Vegas, with my very last $20 in the world in my pocket, and those stupid slots were calling me.
Now, I am not a gambler. Those rare times I have been to casinos, it has usually been with someone else, and the same thing always happens. I win a little money early on the slots, and then I am done. However, I am stuck in the casino because my friends are losing, and they want to keep playing. After a time, I give into temptation, start betting my winnings, and before you know it, I have nothing.
Also, it seemed rather hypocritical to bet this freaking $20. After all, it was the last $20, and because my brother knew it was my last, he had looked after me all week, housing and feeding me. To waste $20 on gambling seemed like a slap in his face.
Still, I was in a very good place that morning. My shift in attitude had left me feeling very connected with Spirit, and something was telling me to play a slot. It was not like a voice was saying, "You will win big and all your troubles will end." Rather, the voice was reminding me of something my wife said, just before I left for Denver the previous week.
Just before my departure last week, I considered canceling the trip. After all, we had no money (the plane ticket had been paid for months earlier, before we took our financial hit), and the week spent recording the audiobook could have been better spent working, earning some income. My wife said that the audiobook was a "gamble," an investment in what we believed in, which was my writing. It was yet another means (along with the excellent book trailer for Strays being developed by our friends at Blue Dingo Productions) to set my writing apart from other independent authors out there. There was no guarantee that the audiobook and book trailer would have any measurable financial return, but if we did not at least try, we would not know.
That was what the slot machine seemed to symbolize, that need to try something rather than just cling to what was safe. The $20 in my pocket was like my day job, something to which I could have devoted all my time over the previous week, and at the end of that week I would be one week's pay richer and no closer to achieving my dreams. I was also reminded of something Paolo Coelho once wrote about faith in God being akin to "making a bet," since we don't have the kind of physical evidence we want prior to having that faith. Just as we go to the slot machine or blackjack table hoping we will win (without any physical evidence to convince us that we actually will), so do we go before God hoping--believing--that the power of Spirit will come through.
I started to put my $20 in a Wheel of Fortune slot machine, and I stopped. "This is stupid," I said. "This was a waste." Shaking my head, I got up from the seat in front of the slot machine ... and that's when the machine talked to me.
"Wheel! Of! Fortune!" it shouted, playing one it's looped soundbites at the scheduled time. It was odd that this one machine would cycle it's soundbite just as I was getting up to leave. "What the hell?" I thought. "Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something." And I put in the $20. This gave me 20 credits at a buck each.
Now, the maximum bet you can make on the Wheel Of Fortune slot is five credits, which is kind of a waste. I decided to bet one credit. Immediately, the "Spin the Wheel" icon came up. When this comes up, you can spin the Wheel of Fortune above and collect whatever amount it lands on, ranging from $10 all the way up to $500, I believe. However, you can only spin the wheel if you bet the full five credits. I had bet only one. Even though the icon came up, I could not spin.
I bet another credit. The damn "Spin the Wheel" icon came up again. That never happens! I've sat at a Wheel of Fortune slot in Vegas before and gone through fifty credits and never gotten the "Spin the Wheel" icon. Now it came up twice ... but I had not bet enough to earn that spin.
I bet another credit. A third time, the "Spin the Wheel" icon came up! I tell you, once is rare, twice near impossible, and three times downright unheard of, let along coming up three times in a row! If only I had bet the full amount! I could have spun the wheel three times!
I was now down to 17 credits. I told you 17 is a special number to me. I got sober on the 17th. If numbers have power, or are just another language God or the Universe uses, then 17 is the number to which I am most connected. I also like 7, as I said, for reasons explained in another blog further down, the blog about Miles Davis which is partially based on a true incident.
Frustrated, I bet the full five credits. I spun ... and I got three 7's. Jackpot. I wound up with a cashout voucher that looked like this:
This sequence  is a sign that there is a gate of opportunity opening up, and your thoughts are manifesting into form at record speeds. The 111 is like the bright light of a flash bulb. It means the universe has just taken a snapshot of your thoughts and is manifesting them into form. Are you pleased with what thoughts the universe has captured? If not, correct your thoughts. This sign can also signal that your thoughts are evidence of the start of a new cycle in your life and that the thoughts you are having are related to the start of a new cycle in your life.
Prior to the slot machine yesterday, I honestly believed life was about to make a turn for the better. I could feel it in my gut and my soul, and that positive energy was manifesting in the way I interacted with others. Finally, I took what I deemed to be a stupid gamble on a slot machine ... and I walked away with $111. Now, $111 is not going to save my life; it merely alleviates a tiny amount of pressure.
What is significant is the number sequence. Some may question whether or not it is a Godwink, and strict Christians may pass judgment, stating that gambling and numerology are "tools of the devil." I choose to think differently. I believe in a God who knows how each of us think. The sequence 111 may not mean anything to you, but it means something to me (as does the sequence 777, which was what showed up on the slot window when I won, as well as 17, which was the number of remaining credits when I bet).
I believe Someone or Something is speaking my language. If you don't speak the same language, you need not worry. Simply wait, and sooner or later another Godwink will happen in a language that you understand.
[Shandean Digression: Up above, I mentioned Blue Dingo Productions, who we met through a friend and who are putting together a trailer for Strays. I have mentioned in another blog about my love of Miles Davis, and how his music came into my life accompanied by the recurrence of 7's. My top two favorite Miles Davis CDs are Kind of Blue and the soundtrack to Dingo. Cue the Twilight Zone music again, kids ...]