I do believe I begin to grasp the nature of miracles! For would it be a miracle, if there was any reason for it? Miracles have nothing to do with reason. Miracles contradict reason, they strike clean across mere human deserts, and deliver and save where they will. If they made sense, they would not be miracles.
The religious naturalist is provisioned with tales of natural emergence that are, to my mind, far more magical than traditional miracles. Emergence is inherent in everything that is alive, allowing our yearning for supernatural miracles to be subsumed by our joy in the countless miracles that surround us.
Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.
The holiday season is a time for storytelling, and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision, these stories often feature miracles. Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view.
We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus' miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.
To early man, trees were objects of awe and wonder. The mystery of their growth, the movement of their leaves and branches, the way they seemed to die and come again to life in spring, the sudden growth of the plant from the seed - all these appeared to be miracles as indeed they still are, miracles of nature!
Why who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know nothing else but miracles, whether they be animals feeding in the fields, Or, birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me, miracles.
Although we think of them as extraordinary, miracles also streak across our consciousness every day. We can choose to notice or ignore them, unaware that our destinies may hang in the balance. Tune into the presence of miracles, and in an instant, life can be transformed into a dazzling experience, more wondrous and exciting than we could even imagine. Ignore it, and an opportunity is gone forever.
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