Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Does a Miracle Look Like?

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle. - Paulo Coelho

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds. - Norman Vincent Peale

As someone who has been writing a personal journal for over 30 years, I find it interesting to thumb through the pages of my history and smile at the musings of someone who struggled with things that don’t seem large to me now, someone who cherished victories that paled in comparison to future wins and someone who struggled with the things he witnessed during his many years working on various “interesting” projects.  As one grows through Life experience, it can often seem like one is reading about the journey of a different person.

A lot of people are fascinated by what someone with my background would write in my journals and some have gone out of their way to find ways to obtain them just to take a peek.  Occasionally, some have succeeded and have obtained insight into how I think, what I think about and who I associate with.

Some have said “thanks, I will never sleep again” when seeing the details of some of the projects I have worked on, frightened by things I stopped worrying about a long time ago.

And some have even added funny footnotes that I still cherish when I read them (thanks, Darrell M. – it only took you two years of trying). Smile

In the challenging times that we face in the world today, a world filled with unlimited potential and great uncertainty at the same time, thousands of people write to me with the classic “I don’t know why I am telling a stranger this but ….” and then proceed to ask for guidance regarding a great challenge before them.

While I answer the occasional note that really tugs at my heart or where I have some useful context, I cannot answer all of them even though I wish I could honor their trust and transparency with a reply.  However, as I read some similar emails this morning, I feel compelled to share an entry in my journal that I wrote at a particularly difficult time in my Life.

Here it is - unedited, raw, grammatically imperfect and in the words of a cold, heartless, ruthless, analytical Wall St. / government / military strategy advisor. 

What Does A Miracle Look Like?

This roller coaster has felt insane but while it is only in the last few years or so, I see that the seeds necessary to produce it were planted many years before.

It took a while to produce fruit then.

By the same token, seeds necessary to produce a better harvest don’t produce fruit overnight either.

One takes time to produce the critical mass to knock you off the rails.

One takes time to produce the energy required to lift you back upon the rails.

One cannot be ignorant of the first and be impatient with the second.

And in the germinating of the seeds to recovery also comes the lessons required to avoid repeating the mistakes and sins committed or some variant of them.

Meanwhile, the bad side also has momentum and even if one is doing the right things now, it take a while for the bad stuff to coast to a halt or at least slow down long enough for “the good side” to get a grip, to begin to exert influence to change the direction or to produce a better harvest.

And so while I know I am a good person, the fact that it’s taking some time for recovery to take place must never allow me to undermine my sense that I am a good person or to give up.

While difficulty appeared to be instant, unprovoked and out of the blue, it was years in the making.

How can I expect healing to be any different?

I press forward – for myself, my family, my friends and my legacy of service to others.

Time, faith, lessons learned (and applied), friendship, love and support do heal all wounds.

In the meantime, I, like the farmer who sows his seeds in the spring, need to tend the garden patiently and diligently until the harvest arrives …. in faith that it always does.

Dedicated to the people who possess the courage to share their innermost feelings, fears, needs and desires with a complete stranger.

Your miracles are coming. 

They may not look like what you think you need or what you asked for but they are coming and they are exactly what you need.

Be ready.

Be strong.


In service and servanthood,

Harry (a miracle participant)

Addendum – Faith and Prayer – April 30, 2014

I was speaking to someone the other day about the Rosary and discovered that while they had been taught the Mysteries of the Rosary, they had not been taught their meaning.

We were discussing the Sorrowful Mysteries which are known to Roman Catholics as:

  • Agony in the Garden
  • Scourging at the Pillar
  • Crowning With Thorns
  • Carrying of the Cross
  • The Crucifixion

But I am surprised to discover how many Roman Catholics have not been taught the subjects to reflect upon for these Mysteries and thus an important element of the Rosary is missed.

The meanings for the Sorrowful Mysteries are:

  • Agony in the Garden – Repentance for sins and mistakes (what have I learned)
  • Scourging at the Pillar – For a spirit of mortification (accepting sacrifices until difficult times pass)
  • Crowing With Thorns – For moral courage
  • Carrying of the Cross – For patience
  • The Crucifixion – For grace during the most difficult of times / final perseverance

I thought this might be an appropriate and useful reminder for Roman Catholics who have written me over the years in regards to prayer during difficult times.

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