A Re-gifted Christmas Miracle
I suspect that more often than not, a person’s belief system is not a result of his own thought process. Various isms (including atheism and agnosticism) are often deeply imbedded in personalities and handed down from parents or ethnicity or community ethos. Many of these have lasted thousands of years, often without individuals questioning their symbolism or meaning. What a person thinks, however, is entirely his sole prerogative, and according to James Allen( As A Man Thinketh), Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Lao Tzu and most religious scholars, will impact the quality of the believer’s (or nonbeliever’s) life. This thought sequence was conjured up by a simple quote that my son sent me on Christmas day. It was from Albert Einstein and I had never read it:
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
I was deeply moved by the simplicity, sincerity and wisdom of his thought. The next evening, when we sat down for dinner with the one remaining family, Einstein was still on my mind. On a total whim, instead of offering our traditional dinner grace, I asked my 8-year-old granddaughter if she knew what a miracle was. She looked a bit frightened, but furrowed her brow to conjure up an answer. Finally, she blushed and in a whisper said, “It’s something very special and mysterious that happens.” It was a perfect answer. “You know,” I said, “You only get to come here two or three times a year. I think that it is a little miracle that you are sitting here next to me.” Her eyes widened and she radiated pure joy as she said, “I think so too grandpa.”
After dinner the rain had stopped and I wandered outside and looked up at the heavens. The air was clean, crisp and invited contemplation. Our sun is approx. 1 million miles in diameter and approx. 100 million miles away. The Milky Way galaxy contains between 200-400 billion stars and is 120,000 light years in diameter. A very rough guess is that the universe contains over 500 billion galaxies, which would mean a several-hundred-billion-star-galaxy for every star in the Milky Way. That is, if the universe has a limit, otherwise there would be an infinite number of galaxies. As usual, when I do this I don’t know which billion miracles I should begin to count. The mind-numbing bottom line was; so what are the odds that I would be alive, in this place, and blessed with the privilege of sharing a precious moment with a little angel who reminded me that miracles are very special, mysterious events that can still happen?
I may not have seen a Christmas Star, but I saw a million others; I was properly overwhelmed, and reminded of Walt Whitman:
“To me, every hour of the day and night
is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
We wish you a Happy New Year filled with many “little miracle” discoveries.