I have known Rabbi Joe for thirty years and I always loved spending time with him because I always learned something. One thing Joe taught was this: Just because a miracle can be explained, does not mean that it is not a miracle. To explain his position, he used two great biblical examples: The parting of the Red Sea and how “God gave us manna in the wilderness.”
Today scientists know of an earthly phenomenon which occurs annually. For a very brief period of time, parts of the Red Sea become so shallow that you can literally walk across it. Did God make the waters of the Red Sea part? Or did this earthly event just happen to occur as Moses was leading the Jews out of Egypt? Whichever you happen to believe, the fact that it did and/or does occur is nothing short of a miracle. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_sea )
After fleeing Egypt, the Jews spent 40 years in the desert. They did not bring enough food to last for 40 years. So how did they survive? An expedition set out in the desert of Israel in an attempt to retrace the steps that Moses and his followers took thousands of years ago. They discovered a tree that grows in that desert, that in the morning, produces a sweet dew that they could eat. A dew that would sustain them. Manna in the wilderness explained. (Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna)
Just because these biblical examples of miracles can be explained, does not mean that they are not miracles. If I were to dismiss miracles because they can be explained, I would miss out on the joy and awe that life makes available to me daily.
This has nothing to do with religion or faith (although that never hurts). It has to do with being excited, thrilled and grateful for that thing we call LIFE and all the miracles that occur in it every single day..
My whole life has been and continues to be about miracles. I was a very sick kid when I was young, so sick my parents were told that I would never be normal and probably spend my life in an institution. That didn’t happen and the reason can be explained. It was a miracle.
I have been in three car accidents, two in which the cars were totaled, and one in which I walked away, each time unharmed. Miracles. I have been held up at gun point and walked away unscathed. Miracle. I have been in beautiful places and watched the sun come up. Miracle. I was in the delivery room twice, watching my children being born. Miracles.
Miracles happen everyday. The question is, do we recognize them as miracles or do we dismiss them as everyday events? Do you know any cancer or transplant survivors? Miracles. Have you ever travelled in a car or airplane or boat? Miracles. Have you ever watched TV or listened to the radio or been on the internet? Miracles. Have you ever had someone or something show up at just the right time in your life? Miracles.
I love that my life is filled with miracles. In fact, I have become pretty good at recognizing and acknowledging them. Living a life that is filled with miracles makes every day worth celebrating and something for which to be grateful.
Make this holiday season a most miraculous occasion. Start recognizing the miracles taking place around you, for you and because of you. Then start doing it everyday. We don’t need a holiday to have a miracle. We just need to see them.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.