You Are My Greatest Miracle

Epiphany 2011
(2 January 2011)
Les Ruhrmund

The story of the magi, the wise men from the East, arriving at Jesus’ crib in Bethlehem after a long journey of seeking, speaks to us of that desire for God which is in the heart of every one of us.

To find God, we don’t have to travel long physical distances but need only make the spiritual journey to the depths of our being where the spirit of God lives. The story reminds us of the ongoing reality that God is a God of Epiphany – revealing himself to us every day in everyday things; in the sunrise and star lit nights, the forests, the mountains and the wind; music, art, poetry, science and literature; our friends and family; a touch, a hug, a kiss, a tear.

At this beginning of a new year, a time that we traditionally think back on the year past and make resolutions about changes we’d like to make in our goals, our lifestyles, habits and relationships, I thought I’d share again some excerpts from Og Mandino’s book “The greatest miracle in the world.”

A memorandum from God to you.

Take counsel.

I hear your cry.
It passes through the darkness, filters through the clouds, mingles with starlight, and finds its way to my heart on the path of a sunbeam. I have anguished over the cry of a hare choked in the noose of a snare, a sparrow tumbled from the nest of its mother, a child thrashing helplessly in a pond, and a son shedding his blood on a cross. Know that I hear you, also.
Be at peace. Be calm.

This moment is the dividing line of your life. All that has gone before is like unto no more than that time you slept within your mother’s womb. What is past is past. This day, like unto Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, I command you to come forth and you will walk from your cave to begin a new life.

Feel my hand upon thy head.
Let me share with you, again, the secret you heard at your birth and forgot.
You are my greatest miracle.
You are the greatest miracle in the world.

How many prophets, how many wise men, how many poets, how many artists, how many composers, how many scientists, philosophers and messengers have I sent with word of your divinity, your potential for godliness, and the secrets of achievement?

I love you and I am with you now.

Know then the first secret to happiness and success – that you possess, even now, every blessing necessary to achieve great glory. They are your treasure, your tools with which to build, starting today, the foundation for a new and better life.

Are you blind?
Does the sun rise and fall without your witness? No. You can see ……your eyes enable you to enjoy the magic of a leaf, an eagle, a child, a cloud, a star, a rose, a rainbow … and the look of love.
Count one blessing.

Are you deaf?
No. You can hear … your ears vibrate to the wind in the trees, the tides on the rocks, the majesty of an opera, children at play … and the words I love you.
Count another blessing.

Are you mute?
No. You can speak … as can no other of my creatures, and your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the ignorant … and say I love you.
Count another blessing.

Are you paralyzed?
No. You can move.
You are not a tree condemned to a small plot while the wind and world abuses you. You can stretch and run and dance and work, for within you I have designed muscles, bones, and nerve fibre all synchronized by me to do your bidding.
Count another blessing.

Are you unloved and unloving?
Does loneliness engulf you, night and day? No. No more.
For now you know love’s secret, that to receive love it must be given with no thought of its return. To love for fulfilment, satisfaction, or pride is no love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. Now you know that to love unselfishly is its own reward. And even should love not be returned it is not lost, for love not reciprocated will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart.
Count another blessing.

Therefore, I say to you, count your blessings and know that you are my greatest creation.

And be grateful for your lessons learned in poverty, weakness, loss and failure. For he is not poor who has little…..only he that desires much; and true security lies not in the things one has…. but in the things one can do without.

And the second law is like the first.
Proclaim your rarity.
Consider a painting by Rembrandt or a bronze by Degas or a violin by Stradivarius or a play by Shakespeare. They have great value for two reasons: their creators were masters and they are few in number. Yet there are more than one of each of these. On that reasoning you are the most valuable treasure on the face of the earth, for you know who created you and there is only one of you. Never, in all the seventy billion humans who have walked this planet since the beginning of time has there been anyone exactly like you.

Never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you.
You are the rarest thing in the world.
You! A priceless treasure possessed of qualities in mind and speech and movement and appearance and actions as no other who has ever lived, lives, or shall live.

No longer hide your rarity in the dark.
Bring it forth. Show the world.
Strive not to walk as your brother walks, nor talk as your leader talks, nor labour as do the mediocre.
Never imitate. Be yourself.
Show your rarity to the world.

The third law is: Go another mile!
The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.

The surest way to doom yourself to mediocrity is to perform only the work for which you are paid. Think not you are being cheated if you deliver more than the silver you receive. The mediocre never goes another mile, for why should he cheat himself, he thinks. But you are not mediocre. To go another mile is a privilege you must appropriate by your own initiative. You cannot, you must not avoid it. Neglect it, do only as little as the others, and the responsibility for your failure is yours alone. Concern yourself not, should you serve an ungrateful master. Serve him more. And instead of him, let it be me who is in your debt, for then you will know that every minute, every stroke of extra service will be repaid.
Go another mile.
You cannot command success, you can only deserve it.

Thus we come to the fourth law of success and happiness …use wisely the power to choose. With this gift I placed you even above my angels … for angels are not free to choose sin. I gave you complete control over your destiny. I told you to determine, for yourself, your own nature in accordance with your own free will. What have you done with this tremendous force? Look at yourself. Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments when you would fall to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.

What is past is past …
Use wisely from this day onwards, your power of choice.

Choose to love … rather than hate.
Choose to laugh … rather than cry.
Choose to create … rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere … rather than quit.
Choose to praise … rather than gossip.
Choose to heal … rather than wound.
Choose to give … rather than steal.
Choose to act … rather than procrastinate.
Choose to grow … rather than rot.
Choose to pray … rather than curse.
Choose to live … rather than die.
You are more than a human being, you are a human becoming.

You are capable of great wonders. Your potential is unlimited.
Never demean yourself again!

And finally the greatest commandment of all …… Do all things with love … love for yourself, love for all others, and love for me.

Wipe away your tears.
Reach out and grasp my hand.
You are my greatest miracle.

Deacon Les 1 Jan 2011

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