I have a question for you. Would you like to see more miracles? Or perhaps even, for some, experience a miracle for the first time?

I have a “method” that I would like to share, but I’m not a Methodist.

About fifteen years ago I was thinking about how our thoughts are defined by the words we use. It came about because someone had experienced something, and they were struck “speechless”, or “at a loss of words”.

The concept intrigued me. You’ve heard that phrase? How often had I been struck “speechless”? Hmm, that was generally not the problem, the problem was that I usually had too many words.

Thinking about it, if I were experiencing something that struck me “speechless” might be in the same category as “miracles”. At least it’s possible. I have often heard that miracles strike people “speechless”. The thought occurred to me that I might have even seen minor “miracles”, but not recognized them, or maybe I gave them a different label.

A little more pondering led me to the word “coincidence”. Invariably, when I used this word, it came as a filler, instead of being “speechless”. If the event or object seemed impossible to predict, I could always label it… “a coincidence”

Let’s look at one example. It’s 3,000 years ago, you look up at dawn, and you see two round objects that move across the sky. One orb seems to rule the day, and one orb rules the night. What are they, and why are they?

Different cultures made different stories explaining their purpose. It was fairly recent to understand that the “moon” did not generate light, but merely reflected light from the sun. We had to develop some science in order to figure that out.

It wasn’t a waste of time for the other explanations. We learned to tell stories, our brains experimented with imagination. At the very least it increased our curiosity about the world.

But one thing was never doubted. The two orbs were approximately the same size! What ever the storyline, when the eclipse came, not only did they appear to be the same size, it was proven they were the same size.

In the real world there are children, they are not the same size as an adult. When they stand behind an adult you can’t see them. Wooly mammoths are larger than men. Rocks can be small, boulders can be large, but seeing next to each other is believing. The sun is the same size as the moon. Period.

Then that science makes itself a pest, and says the the sun is 400 times the size of the moon. What? How can that be? Look up at the sky! Has the world gone mad?

Well, science solves that problem by stating that the sun is also 400 times the distance, of the distance, from the earth to the moon. So… from the surface of earth, the moon and the sun appear to us to be the same size. It’s just a “coincidence”.

I have an astronomer friend. There are lots of planets with moons, several moons in fact, on none of the other planets does their moon appear to be the same size as the sun. In fact, the odds are that it doesn’t appear anywhere in the known universe.

So why? Why does it appear that way to us?

So it occurred to me that if I removed “coincidence” from my vocabulary that I would be temporarily “struck speechless”, then my inner nature would consider that this was a result of a “plan”. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my plan, I’m very sure that the sun and the moon didn’t come to an agreement, so… whose plan was it?

If this size trick was a plan, what was the purpose? I don’t know, perhaps to encourage our imagination, maybe to test our “free will”, or maybe to spur our curiosity.

I suppose there is a danger… that I could fall into the trap that the earth is sitting on a large turtle as it is swimming through space, and maybe my ancestors did that. But I know that I don’t what to take the position that everything is explained by science and “coincidence”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love science. It provides facts, and logic, and often does a good job with the superficial “why?” of things. It doesn’t leave room for miracles.

Another example…Just today, in driving here, I turned the corner where I saw dozens of poppies exploding in bloom. I noticed the flowers, I was attracted to the color.

Science tells me that in order for the flowers to flourish they must be pollinated, bees and other insects, must be attracted by the color and the scent of their nectar. According to science the fact that the bees carry out the pollination is “coincidence”. Whoops, there is that word.

And what about me? I’m not pollinating or sniffing nectar. Why am I noticing the flowers? Surely not “coincidence”. But maybe, just maybe, I’m just appreciating the “miracle” of creation? Why else am I built to notice?

I still have some work to do with removing “random chance”, “luck and lucky”. But I’m getting there. I’m preparing myself to accept the possibility. And while I haven’t experience miracles with a capital M, I have noticed a substantial increase minor miracles. Removing the labels that block future thoughts, prepares the ground.

That does not mean that I don’t have standards. I just believe there are plans, not happenstance. I believe there are plans for good, and plans for bad. I believe in agencies that make the plans. I believe I have free will in regards to choices. I also believe that miracles are events that can’t be explained by logic. In some churches miracles are everywhere and everyday. I think maybe that waters down the experience. I don’t proscribe to that.

What I do know is that language can steal concepts from us, and in some ways it dismisses reality, by pretending to explain it. But maybe that’s just a coincidence.

By the way, there are more words and phrases that can be removed with surprising results. I suggest to get rid of “at the end of the day.” And “in this day and age”. They are useless fillers, making up empty excuses.

I’ll end with Joshua, “Choose you this day, whom will you serve?” Amen.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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