Just the other day, someone on Facebook posted a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I am surprised at the number of people who routinely “take things for granted” while appearing to operate within the first category. I would bet that Einstein was surprised, as well.
The discussion, here, is not over biblical claims of startling, one-off divine interventions – like healing the blind; rather, the focus is on the plethora of everyday miracles which often go unappreciated and even unnoticed.
There are aspects of life which unfailingly startle us with wonder – the birth of a child, for example. The reproductive process is a natural one, part of the fabric of our being. A child is born not through direct, hands-on, divine intervention; rather, new life appears because nature’s machinery was initially imbued to operate that way by some power beyond our comprehension. For many, that power is God. For me, the fact that human gestation ends in the birth of a child thousands of times every day makes it no less a miracle than the biblical, made-to-order kind. Is it not a miracle that nature does operate according to precise scientific laws which apply always and everywhere in the universe? Imagine the chaos if that were not the case! The “laws” of nature surely have a divine provenance, and science permits us to come verifiably closer to the ultimate “truths” which religion so desperately seeks. That fact, in itself, is a miracle.
The key take-away? We are continuously surrounded by nature and her inherent miracles, yet we so often take it all for granted. Some would ask, “So what? We cannot walk about awe-struck every waking moment!” True, but to lose sight of nature’s wonders and her window on a deeper reality is to lose a healthy perspective on life and living. Many people maintain their perspective through religion and church attendance. Increasingly, I find my “creator” in every aspect of the creation itself: I believe the proper term for that is “pantheism.” Well, so be it – whatever it is called. When viewed in such fashion, nature is a fitting representation of divinity’s vast dimension.
When I read of student suicides and so many other disturbing stories on the daily news, it strikes me that much of the malaise is due to a cramped human perspective, one which has lost touch with the grandness of nature, the miracles all around us, and singular man’s proper role in nature’s domain.
As for religiousness, I defer to an Einstein quote that I have used before (one of my favorites). Einstein’s statement sheds light on my theme for this post as he relates his views about the “mysterious” in the form of the miracles which surround us:
“The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.”