Most of my ideas for writing my blog come from events of my life. Many have been from family and from hockey.
Occasionally, Cathy will suggest an idea to me for a blog. And, oftentimes, it is “food for fodder” to get my creative juices flowing.
Recently, she suggested that I write on the casual use of the word or idea of “miracle”. Cathy had noticed just how many products use the word to describe how well their product works; such as a hair conditioner bottle that claims to be a “3-minute miracle”.
I suggested that she jot down some bullet points and set it on my desk; which she did.
In fact, it was around the same time that pastor and author Eugene Peterson passed away; October 22, 2018.
For those of you who don’t know who he was, Eugene was a clergyman, scholar, poet, and author who wrote over thirty books. One of his best-known books was his translation of the Bible called “The Message”; which is a paraphrase of the Bible in contemporary language.
And, as life usually happens, just as I was about to take Cathy’s suggestion and write a blog on miracles, I ran across a devotional by Eugene Peterson on miracles and decided that for this week, I would post it in honor of his contributions to the work of the Gospel.
A Skill of the Soul by Eugene Peterson
When something happens that we can’t explain, we say that’s a miracle.
Under that set of definitions, most things that a magician does would be a miracle to me, and I know good and well they aren’t.
Miracle, through the biblical tradition, is not what we don’t understand but what is done for us that we can’t do ourselves.
Miracle is functional. It’s what God does for us or does for us through other people that we can’t do ourselves.
It’s possible you could understand it, but even if you did, that wouldn’t make it stop being a miracle. The word does not mean that which is beyond our comprehension but rather that which is beyond our ability.
So in that way I can, when I walk out in the morning and see the sun coming up over the horizon, say, “That’s a miracle.” And I would be biblically correct. Every morning is a miracle.
So how do you focus your eyes to see the miracle of each day?
How do you train yourself into that discipline that can tune out the cacophonous racket of the world so that you can hear the angel symphony singing God’s glory in the highest?
You can give your attention, your mental alertness, your curiosity, and your intelligence. Listening is not only a function of biological acoustics; it is a spiritual skill of the soul.
Don’t be misled by the child in the manger. He was a child, but He is of the family of Moses the prophet and He speaks to you today.
He is saying something that is designed to rule your life, to lead you into a new way of existence, something that can evoke a response that has eternal dimensions to it.
He says that you are loved by God, that you are accepted by God, that your life has an eternal meaning and destiny.
No, that is a crashing, enlivening, beautiful new word. Once you hear that, you will never hear anything old again. Everything will be new.
That is the kind of thing that keeps sounding new every time it is heard.
What is one thing you could do today to attune your heart and mind to the miracles of God’s presence in your life?
From the book “Every Step An Arrival” A 90-Day Devotional for Exploring God’s Word by Eugene Peterson © 2018 WaterBrook & Multnomah Imprints of Penguin Random House.