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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blessed by an infinite series of little miracles

Exodus 16:12-15
12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. 14 And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
We're no longer in times where great miracles seem to happen. There are no more burning bushes, no parting of the Red Sea, and no more manna from heaven. Scientists seem to delight in explaining away every miracle and this in turn makes having and keeping faith more and more difficult. There are still miracles though. Every day we're witness to miracles if only we'd open our eyes and see them.

When I think about where I am today, it's pretty easy to take all those little miracles for granted. I was born with the full complement of twenty digits, and six other sensory organs together providing me with the full array of five senses which allow me to fully interact with this incredible and endlessly amazing playground/testing-ground that God built for all of us. This miracle happens hundreds of thousands of times every single day. When a miracle happens that often, I guess it's pretty easy to take for granted. But for millions of children—that were conceived and then aborted—that small miracle will never be taken for granted. So for the miracle of being here and being born a perfect healthy little baby, I am thankful. I was born; thank you, Mom and Dad, and especially, thank You, God.

My five senses, together with a fair intellect, allowed me to quickly learn how to express myself, my intentions and my opinions. It also allowed me to understand the intentions and opinions of those around me. I could have been a straight-A student. I could have won scholarships, gone to college, become a businessman, perhaps even a medical doctor like my mother did. My opportunities in those earliest of years were practically unlimited. I was born in the USA and I know, as do you, that when you're born here in the United States, you have the opportunity to be whoever and whatever you desire to be. Every American from the moment of birth has miraculous opportunities that are almost without limit. If we work tirelessly for the goal we dream of today, I believe we can achieve those dreams tomorrow. In this the richest, the most technologically advanced, the most powerful, the freest, greatest country on Earth, I was miraculously born. Thank you, founding fathers. Thank you, patriots up in heaven who died on a battleground somewhere fighting for my freedom, and especially thank You, God.

I have a job. That's a miracle that has so far eluded the 12.3 million people who are still actively looking for work. Every day I do useful work for my employer and he rewards my efforts with money sufficient to support me and my family. It's not just having a job that is a miracle; it's also the world view that has been imparted to me that is a miracle. And that worldview is a true miracle in this day and age. Fewer and fewer people these days seem to understand that living a useless life dependent on the state for every need is not freedom at all, it's the lowest form of slavery I can imagine. The minds of these slaves are held so enchained and so despicably low that they can no longer dream of freedom, no longer understand what freedom even means. Thank you, Mom and Dad, teachers, pastors, friends, neighbors, and conservatives of every kind, for this my world view that gets me up every morning at 5:00 AM and finds me at work by 6:00 AM, and especially, thank You, God.

I have a home, and that's a small miracle denied to about 650,000 people on any particular night of the year. Being homeless is a state of affairs that I can only imagine. The brutality of the street and the viciousness of those who live there is the stuff of nightmares. Hunting for somewhere warm and dry, a corner, a box, a bridge, a tunnel to grab a few moments of shut-eye, being moved along from wherever you are, whenever exhausted, you finally close your eyes, would be a living nightmare. Someone living this way has just got to start losing his self-respect. Maybe that's why they finally start begging. By the time a homeless person becomes a beggar, a rat probably has more self-respect. I mentioned my worldview before, but how much more important that worldview is in this case. The shame I would feel holding out a hand for a bowl of soup and a chance at a night in some shelter filled with those homeless like me, is a more horrifying dream than the ones I used to have of finding myself in a classroom full of kids and somehow I had arrived there without my clothing. No, my home may not be a palace or a mansion, but I love it and I'm thankful for it, just the same. Thank you boss for the wages that pay for it, thank you, parents who raised me, and teachers who taught me, and especially, thank You, God.

I have a car, and I'm blessed enough to understand how critical, how incredibly important and vital it is to have a working automobile. Today—if I wanted to—I could get in my car and drive from one end of this country to the other. I could stand on a beach staring out into the Atlantic and in less than a week I could stand on another beach staring out at the Pacific. That's a freedom undreamed of to all the trillions of people who came before us, who lived and died in the same few square miles, in whatever little village, borough, or fiefdom they were born in. A similar journey to them in that day and age would have required months of travel, not to mention the all too likely possibility of a gruesome death by any number of hostile barbarians and/or beasts. I am truly grateful I live in a place where I can own a car. This is a privilege denied or an opportunity foregone by millions upon millions. If a gun is the best symbol of your right to protect yourself, how much more does a car symbolize your right to go where you will? Sit behind the wheel of your car and just try to feel this awesome miraculous freedom you've been granted. Thank you, Henry Ford. Thank you—all of you—who live and work in this our miraculous civilization where owning a miraculous thing like an automobile is even possible. Especially, thank You, God, for the blessing of this series of little miracles you grant us every day of our lives.

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Holy Bible (NKJV)

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