23 Mar Miracles
“Miracles rest not so much upon healing power coming suddenly near us from afar, but upon our perceptions made finer. So that, for the moment, our eyes can see, and our ears can hear, what has been there around us always.”
— Willa Cather
Death Comes for the Archbishop
It’s the beginning of Spring where I am! Yesterday I smelled spring flowers while hiking in the hills above Berkeley, California. And I heard bees in some of the bushes. Even with all the crises that we experience at this moment, being in nature gives you and me the chance to see life still going on. If that isn’t miraculous, I don’t know what is!
Let’s look at the nature of miracles. A miracle, according to Dictionary.com, is “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”
That dictionary also gives us a more straightforward definition of miracles: “a wonder or marvel.” This statement allows us to get closer to what miracles can mean for us in our own lives.
Do you remember the first time you learned to balance when riding a bike? When I was 13, my father took me to a friend’s home. They were a family of bike riders! There was one just my size. His friend, Chester, let me use one of the many child-sized bikes there.
It was a windy, chilly day in the San Fernando Valley. Walnut trees lined the street. It’s funny what you remember about significant events! My father held onto the back of the bike so that I wouldn’t fall. The wind felt sweet as I pedaled down the sidewalk. He promised he wouldn’t let go.
The second weekend we were there, he asked if I was ready to try riding it without him. “ NO!” So, he held on, except for a few moments when he told me he’d be right with me but not hanging on unless I needed him…which was constantly!
The third weekend he took me there to ride the bike. He said it was time for me to ride it without him holding me up. That he’d still be there in the back, but that this time it was up to me to keep upright. I pedaled four times and fell. BUT! This time was different. I felt something new: Balance!
At that point, I insisted that he let me ride without him following me. I didn’t stop that afternoon until I could ride a whole block without falling off. It was a miracle!
Do you remember how it felt for you? Here’s an example of a young boy discovering balance for the first time:
Watch video: Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll! »
If you’ve never learned to ride a bike, think of something else: like driving without someone else guiding you.
I remember that one to this day. My mother let me drive her forest-green Mustang convertible with tan leather interior. I remember backing it out of our driveway. The Beachboys were singing “California Girl.” I realize that this dates me, but once again, it’s interesting what we remember during significant events.
And I couldn’t wait to drive it every time my mother wanted me to do an errand for her, like going to the market.
But something happened along the way. The miraculous quality attached to driving seemed to fade. In fact, after about six months of driving her car, I wasn’t so eager to drive to the market anymore, especially if I was going to miss the latest episode of Star Trek.
And there you have it: what was once miraculous becomes commonplace over time, like walking, talking, swimming, or taking our first breath. When a miracle becomes thoroughly embedded in our everyday experience, we no longer see it as something out of the ordinary.
The trick is to keep ourselves open to the possibility of miracles in our life. The question is: how shall we do it? I have some tips that you might find useful.
- Remember a miracle or two. Think back over your life. Do you recall a specific miracle or two? Did they have to do with money? With a relationship? With a skill-set that you learned in sports, drama, business? Write down whatever you remember.
- Savor a miracle or two. As you think about the miracle(s) you remember, see if you can put yourself back into the experience. What do you feel? Proud? Happy? Relieved? Excited? Write these down as well. The idea here is to get your brain back on track in being open to having more miracles in your life.
- Practice “deep” gratitude for what you have right now. By deep gratitude, I mean practicing not only the thought but the emotion attached to whatever you’re holding in gratitude. To do this, keep a journal by your bed. Every night, before you go to sleep, list three things for which you are grateful, Then practice visualizing what you wrote about and let the love you feel open your heart and permeate your body.
- Practice the following affirmation: I am willing to see the miracles in my life. You don’t have to do this continually. Sometimes writing it down and putting it where you can see it daily is enough.
- Finally, see the miracles that begin to show themselves to you. You might find yourself experiencing the following: Gratitude—Miracle—Gratitude—Miracle. In other words, that for which you are grateful opens the door for the next miracle, producing the next gratitude, opening the door for the next miracle, and so forth.
Try this out! Let me know what you find!
Wishing you all my best,