"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." ~ Albert EinsteinA friend of mine recently FaceBook-shared the video of the last two minutes of the US Olympic hockey team victory over the Russian squad at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. This brief historical playback continues to send chills up and down my spine 37 years later. For those of us around the world who witnessed it, Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles?" call with three seconds left is an enduring part of our collective, global memory. The United States was firmly embedded in a crisis situation and needed a boost, something to lift our spirits and mend our collective soul.
The boost came from an unexpected source. The boost came from a bunch of college kids with attitude and an average age of 21, the youngest team in U.S. Olympic history and the youngest team in the Olympic tournament.
It was truly a Miracle on Ice.
No one saw this miracle coming. And that's just it about miracles. If we're not careful, if we're not aware, believing in them and SEEKING miracles, they can come and go without us ever noticing. Not every miracle has a world stage on which to play and a world-class announcer to interpret what we're witnessing, what we are living in a moment, as a miracle.
Parents of addicts don't often interpret what they are experiencing as the universal phenomenons meant to move us, miraculously, along our own recovery pathways. We are often embedded in crisis situations from which we desperately need a boost. We need our spirits lifted, our souls mended. We can become blinded to the miracle.
The discovery and acceptance by a parent of an addict's plunge into addiction is a miracle as much as the addict's sincere admission of "I just can't live like this anymore." Every stage along our pathway isn't always concomitant with joy and happiness, the daisies and butterflies or momentous moments we often associate with the miraculous. Miracles can be BIG instants in time or small and seemingly insignificant, or even totally unrelated to our journey - or so it may seem.
I remember after having missed so many miracles along my pathway a friend suggested I consider buying a book on writing. The miracle wasn't the friend's suggestion or the book. The miracle was that I, a life-long procrastinator and self diminisher would for some unknown reason immediately SEEK out this book and dive into a 12-week creativity course, changing my life forever.
So let's get back to the 1980 Winter Olympics and those crazy upstart Americans and their oppressively solemn coach Herb Brooks. It was certainly a miracle that Brooks was chosen as coach, that the players were able to endure his relentlessly endless practices - that gave them an insanely high third period scoring differential - without imploding. It was a miracle they beat a talented Russian team. These miracles were important, certainly, but had the journey ended the day that impossible victory was achieved those miracles would not have been so memorable.
The true miracle is they had to do it all over again the next day - and they did.
Miracles build on themselves. Miracles are not to be taken lightly or when experienced, to be considered a final reward for our attentiveness. Miracles are often accompanied by angels pointing us along our way and reminding us there are miracles beyond our limited realities, to look beyond the immediate. Miracles are a speedway to the next adventure, the next path along the journey. Miracles are that slingshot effect around whatever obstacle we may have been experiencing, whatever roadblock that had previously impeded our progress.
Miracles are are not a final destination but a gateway to our most exciting and beautiful NEXTS!
As Herb Brooks said, "Great moments are born from great opportunities."
We and our children all have great moments to create, great opportunities to embrace and miracles to fully experience, appreciate and utilize as The Universe wishes us to. It's our gold medal for the taking.
Take it. Then keep moving!
"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." ~ C.S. Lewis