Find the everyday miracles around you

Published 2:36 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

By Rev. Chris Adams,

The Bible is full of what we call the miraculous. From witches summoning up souls from the underworld to dead bodies rising to new life, the Bible gives us stories and images that take our breath away and leave us marveling at the power of the strange God of the Bible. Oh, there’s more. There’s plenty more. Think of the heavenly bread that fell like dew for the wandering people of Israel or the parting of the Red Sea. Think of the 5,000 people who were fed with bread and fish multiplied by the healing hands of Jesus. The list goes on and on and on. I’m sure you get the picture.
Yet, those things no longer seem to happen in our world. At the very least, I don’t see them happening much on the corner near Down on Main or at Festival Park. There are some who would testify to the opposite, but I’m not one of them, and frankly, I don’t know too many others who sing songs of the miraculous happening right here in the Original Washington. They may be happening, but I just don’t see them.
Yet, maybe miracles are happening all around us, and we just don’t notice them. Our world is busy to the point of collective exhaustion. Our addiction to technology and the consumption of entertainment keeps our focus locked on the things that cause our brains to say, “This feels good. Keep it up!” And the workaholic culture we’ve developed means that when we get home after a long day of work, we don’t have enough energy to do much more than turn our brains off and binge-watch ourselves into oblivion.
Even if you aren’t a binge-watcher or an iPhone addict, I’m sure you can point to the ways in which the busyness of the world and the distractions of everyday life keep you from pondering the deep mysteries of the world. When was the last time you thought about how mind-blowingly amazing it is that the Sun, 92 million miles away, feeds our cells and keeps us alive? 92 million miles away, but we need it as much as the food sitting on the plate right in front of us!
The miracles of our world don’t always have to be cosmic. My upcoming back surgery is a fusion, and they will be taking donated bone and grafting it onto my spine, strengthening it, and giving me relief from the nerve compression. When I first heard the plan, I was mildly grossed out. But then I had an epiphany: this is truly miraculous, that medical minds have used their giftedness to figure out how someone like me can have an infinitely better quality of life.
I could keep writing about everyday life’s miracles, but I’ve got an editor and a word limit. I’m guessing you’ve already begun thinking about your own everyday miracles and don’t need mine. What’s keeping you from seeing the miracles around you? What’s distracting you and stealing your focus, preventing you from seeing just how beautiful and wondrous this world can be? Don’t wait around for a miracle of Biblical proportions. Find the everyday miracles around you, and begin to see that, while life can be hard, it can be beautiful too.
Chris Adams is the Rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.