I Believe in Miracles

I believe in miracles. Many would scoff at such a statement in our present sceptical world where only scientifically verifiable and logical events can be accepted. I am not about to offer incontrovertible evidence of a fully-fledged miracle taking place (although I stand in awe of a number of life's events and their unfolding), nor am I interested in objective verification of miracles. Proof of miracles is not required for me. To say that I believe in miracles is an affirmation of an attitude which I seek to cultivate in my life: seeking to keep life open to surprise - to allow that events will unfold in ways which cannot reasonably be foreseen, either by myself as an engaged participant, or by the objective observer.

There is a profound difference between the contemporary mindset and that of the ancients. One commentator remarks that the ancient world positively anticipated wondrous phenomena in connection with persons and situations in which the supernatural and the superhuman were involved. As the years have progressed, with increasing explanations available for previously puzzling events, we are less inclined to expect the unexpected, having lost some of the sense of awe and wonder of life.

Today much of life unfolds most predictably. Each day unfolds according to set patterns. People appear to us much the same every day. Personalities and attitudes which irritate are often found from the same source. How easy it is to pigeon-hole people according to our experience of them, and simply find evidence which reinforces and perpetuates that view over time. We do not even allow people to surprise us any more, regarding anything out of the ordinary with a degree of suspicion. And we are much the poorer.

When we allow for God's work in our lives, we need to make room for the unexpected; to keep our eyes and ears open for things which we had never perceived or planned. Be it change in the attitudes of people around us, open doors which we have written off as closed forever, or simply new thoughts and ideas to change our perspective on ourselves or our problems, these are part of God's work in us.
To say "I believe in miracles" is to leave the door open to the often-surprising work of God.

I believe in miracles. Do you?

August 19, 2001
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