Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Defining Miracles

White Pasque flower seed head found in New Mexico.
Dictionary definitions of “miracle” include:
  1. a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.
  2. a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.
  3. an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
Regardless of how we define miracles, they produce a sense of awe and wonder and reverence. Those are powerful, positive emotions which make us happier, healthier and more successful in our relationships and friendships.

If our definition of miracles is limited to things like number one above, events like walking on water, raising the dead, or even winning the SuperLotto, we aren’t going to see many of them. Therefore, we won’t have many experiences that produce those positive emotions of awe, wonder and reverence.

Broadening our definition to include number two still leaves miracles in the “highly improbable” zone.

Number three, however, opens the door to a new perspective. Rather than waiting for miracles to come our way, what if we turned the definition around? What if we actively looked for anything that produced the feelings of awe, wonder and reverence? What if we actually cultivated those feelings by seeing the miraculousness in everything around us.

Winning the lottery would be, for most folks, a miracle of the definition-two level. Hoping for that, we buy a ticket and cross our fingers. When the machine says, “Sorry not a winner,” as it does in almost all cases, we feel a sense of disappointment. Disappointment is not a positive, powerful feeling. The more we play, the more we lose. Disappointment grows and steals away our happiness.

For quite a long time, I bought a Powerball ticket once or twice a week, generally when I stopped at a gas station for what I called “candy coffee,” the hot, sweet, caramel-colored, caffeinated stuff that comes out of machines. It became a habit. I told myself it was a small, harmless indulgence. (If you know what I’m talking about, see #1 below.)

What I began to notice about the Powerball tickets was that, even though I did not expect to win, I felt a surge of disappointment when I didn’t. Finally, sanity returned and I broke the gas station fix for both candy coffee and Powerball tickets and shifted my harmless indulgence to flowers.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dahlia plant from Costco. $12 for a two-foot plant covered with radiant, plumy-violet, saucer-sized flowers. I cut a single stem and put it in a slender glass vase filled with marbles. When it faded, I replaced it with another one, and another. There were enough to share with a friend. All of the original blossoms are gone now but new buds promise another round. 

That plant, for me, is a miracle. It’s a color that I don’t see often and it fills me with awe, wonder and reverence for its beauty, simplicity, and abundance.

As I write this, I realize I didn’t count it as a miracle this week. I should have.

Miracles Defined

In order to have the broadest possible playing field for attracting the feelings of awe, wonder and reverence, the definition of miracles used by Gratitude Mojo is "Unexpected delights that make you say, “Wow!”

Plus Dottie’s Weight Loss Zones provides this information:
French Vanilla Cappuccino, 20 oz (360 calories/13 g fat/2 g fiber/57 g carbs) 8 points (my normal was the 16 oz … 288 calories of pretty yucky stuff. At least the sand didn’t have calories.)

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