Posts Tagged 'miracle'

Do You Believe In Miracles?

Courtesy Home-School-Coach.com

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

On the long road back to California from Christmas in my hometown, this quote from the German-born physicist grabbed hold of my brain and begged to be pondered.

I turned it over and over in my head, arriving at this conclusion:

The central question is whether you wish to believe there is purpose to life.

The first case is guided by a belief disconnected people smack against each other coincidentally, a haphazard sequence of actions leads to events large and small. Day-to-day choices — and, by extension, life as a whole — are basically irrelevant.

In short, we merely exist for a time and die with some joy sprinkled in to make the grind easier to bear.

Such an attitude quickly leads to disillusionment and detachment — nothing really matters, why be concerned with consequences? We wander around grumbling about circumstances without understanding our worth or the boundless possibilities of every day between birth and death.

Our time is a series of inconsequential actions crossing over with others’ inconsequential actions narrated by the voice(s) in our heads.

It is very challenging to have an adventure this way.

In the second philosophy, every moment is imbued with design. Individuals cross paths in a specific order and for designated reasons. Lives are knitted together such that we are eager to see what’s next.

Thus, the whole universe becomes a symphony.

Each instrument’s sound blends into a magnificent result under the direction of a spirited master conductor. Every note resonates perfectly as one concerto bleeds into the next.

A “fantastic coincidence,” has implicit direction from a loving God.  When a “chance meeting” works out for good, there is a tacit acknowledgment of purpose, an unconscious nod to something pulling things together — regardless of how much one works to suppress it.

No matter how hard the heart, a question always comes up:

Is it “good luck”?  Or is it “good God”?

The miraculous goes beyond our willingness to accept.

It occurs and we can only shake our heads.

Deep down, we know.

Even the worst experiences — those in which the strongest believer turns to the sky and asks, “How could You let this happen?” — have value when viewed with perspective.

Heartache becomes a blessing instead of a curse.

Isn’t that a miracle?

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Small Steps to Giant Leaps

Courtesy NicoleSorkin.com

I think about theoretical physics regularly.

What I understand of it is flat-out mindblowing. There are few subjects able to humble me faster.

In his latest book, The Grand DesignStephen Hawking explores the most recent advances in the study of the vastness in which we live. The current hypothesis holds what we perceive as a universe is actually a multiverse. Within it, all things are happening at all times. To put it another way, every possible outcome to every possible situation occurs and we only see this one.

I am awestruck and dumbfounded.

Everyone loves big miracles.

We spend much of our lives looking for gargantuan leaps from burning buildings to blessed safety. It seems as though the human brain is unable to comprehend anything short of drastic action on God’s part. We think about His omnipotence and stand around waiting for a bolt from the blue as proof He’s working.

Almost everything happens in small steps, though.

With our eyes trained on the horizon in search of His massive end result, we ignore the tiny blessings in between. We focus on what God’s going to do and forget to notice what He’s doing. The change is often so gradual, we are oblivious to how wondrous it really is — and that it’s a prerequisite for the larger miracle we’re praying for.

We are blind to the fact we must be made ready, too, shaped and molded with care.

We transition through countless gateways packed so close together the distance between them is infinitesimal. What seems to be a continual path is in fact trillions of doors opening and closing to guide us along — if we don’t choose to open a different one on our own. We move through them without any concept of how supernatural each one is, a true act of God in and of itself.

By this, we grow.

Life is a long series of opportunities to change, to improve or regress.

The shift is too slow and, at times, painful for our liking.

When God’s providence shines down upon us and what we’ve been waiting for arrives, we would do well to rejoice for the work He has done in us, too.

We like who we are much more when we remember who we were.

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John Assaraf Didn’t Do Anything For Me

About a year ago, I decided to join John Assaraf’s Having It All Challenge.

As I’ve documented before, I’d come to a point in my life where I felt stuck and directionless. I sought out some accountability for my actions, a person whom had achieved greatly to keep me on task.

Eventually, I figured out his involvement in my success would be minimal.

The curriculum consisted of one-hour conference calls in which lessons were discussed and questions answered by experts from a variety of fields. With the exception of a one-day trip to San Diego, there was little in the way of personal interaction.

It offended me.

I’d paid good money to figure out how to change my life and I continued to lumber along the same course with a restless spirit.

Same work.

Same results.

Same discontent.

Where was my miracle?

Slowly, I figured out the problem:  me.

His voice echoed through my brain with the resounding clarity of a church bell: “I can’t do your pushups for you.”

He would give me some tools. I would do the work.

The burden of discipline and strain is mine alone.

The rewards are, too.

I bring this up because I had another encounter with my loudest-complaining student last night.

I wholeheartedly confess the test I prepared was unfair. The questions were disconnected from the manner in which I have covered the material. As an instructor, I failed the class.

I admit that without reservation.

The same tired argument arose from the seat halfway back on my right.

“I do better when I can match up words with pictures.”

“Give us the answers to pick from instead.”

And finally, “It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that you won’t.”

She’s right.

She’d rather have it her way instead of putting the work in to do it mine. She knows what is simplest for her and everything should accommodate that.

Life works in its own way.

Much of your results are determined by your willingness to adapt to situations. As the saying goes in boxing: “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.”

You can do two things when faced with a challenge:

Improve yourself or blame everyone else.

Which do you think gets you farthest?

The price of a victim’s mentality is the repetition of excruciating events over and over again, whether tortured by consuming addiction or an unrelenting professor. Sure, the circumstances may change, but the aftermath is the same:

You pointing one finger at the world and three back at yourself.

To change your end-products, adjust your attitude. Control the quality of your effort and take what comes to you. Whether you get what you want or not, refine your technique to be better next time.

I can only give you a shovel.

You must dig the well yourself or die of thirst.

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