Everyday Miracles

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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How marvelous it is that we only need to open the doors of our perception a little bit to see miracles taking place all around us.

Join me this week as we consider the simple shift that can help that happen. Stay with me.

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I remember the day when one of my college professors brilliantly pointed to the miraculous. When a student asked in the middle of a lecture, “What is a miracle, really?” Dr. Baird stopped and silently regarded him for what seemed a long while. Then, as though his thoughts were somewhere else as he pondered the question, he pulled a handkerchief from his back pocket and spent the next minute or so meticulously cleaning his glasses, checking them over and over by holding them up to the light that streamed in through the high classroom windows.

When he was satisfied that he had removed every smudge and every speck of lint, he put the handkerchief back into his pocket, slowly put his glasses back on, and looked at the student again through clearer lenses.

“What isn’t?” he asked with wry smile.

The depth of what he had just done eluded me at the time. But over the years, the truth of it has become increasingly obvious. The professor was demonstrating what can happen when we clean the filters of thought and perception through which we look at our lives and the world around us. When we’re not busy muddying each experience with yet another mental narrative, even the seemingly small things reveal themselves as utterly miraculous.


Red-Shouldered Hawk Feather
(graphite on paper by Scott Lennox)

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On the table in front of me, sunlight is striking a small object that I’ve rendered in pencil on fine drawing paper. Effortlessly streaming through my corneas and lenses and then through the complexity of countless nerve endings, my eyes take it in. Instantly and accurately, my brain recognizes the object as feather. And now, with the equal complexity of brain and body function and the innumerable nerves and chemical reactions required to make it happen, I’m speaking these words, which your ears will take in and your consciousness will understand and store in your mind as memory.

Is that not miraculous?

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The word “miracle” has its origin in the Latin word “miraculum.” It refers to anything that causes wonder or amazement or astonishment that can’t be explained by normal standards or scientific laws.

It intrigues me that each time we take even half a step out of the habits of our critical thinking or judging minds—out of what we think we already know—we have the opportunity to return to a childlike state of wonder. Imagine watching a butterfly emerging from its cocoon or witnessing the birth of a baby. Imagine watching the evening sky as it takes on the vivid colors of a sheet of beaten copper. Imagine cresting a hill and seeing a double or perhaps a triple rainbow. Imagine being surprised by love.

Surely, each of those things might be understood through the lenses of scientific language or logic, or even medical wisdom. I get that. But I challenge any of us to clearly explain the mysterious and ineffable forces behind them. It can’t be done.

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When we were children, we innately knew that there were countless things we couldn’t put into words. It wasn’t because we lacked a rich enough vocabulary, it was because we knew we were witnessing something mysterious—something altogether beyond the bounds of speech or language. And when we encountered such things, we became entranced and playfully delighted.

Then, for most of us, there came an unfortunate and unnecessary change. The older we got, and the more “formal education” we received, the more we were guided to explain the world through concrete ways of knowing—through science and logic and reason and skepticism. As that shift gradually took place, we focused more and more on the practical and less and less on the miraculous. How sad.

The miracles didn’t cease to exist. We stopped paying attention to them.

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This week, I offer a way back to childlike wonder—back to the miraculous in a way that is essential and built into each of us.

When I first read in A Course In Miracles, decades ago, one simple and direct statement stood out and has stayed with me because of the truth I continue to find in it, and because of the ways I’ve seen it demonstrated again and again and yet again.
Here’s the statement.

“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.”

If you awoke tomorrow morning and found yourself looking at yourself and the world around you through more loving eyes, what would be different? As you chose to release yourself from some of your named and nameless fears, what would change? In what more enlivening ways would you treat yourself? How much more would you accept the humanity of those around you? How much more freedom would you have?

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This week’s Beautiful Questions are designed to help you find out by making the shift in perception from fear to love. If you’re willing to give yourself such a marvelous gift, keep listening.

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Question One: In what ways can you show more love to yourself, and what small or large fears would that love dispel?

Question Two: In what ways can you show love to the people you know or encounter, and once again, what fears would that love help you to release?

Question Three: Where will you focus your love first, and in what ways?

I can think of no greater shift than this one. As you ponder the questions and put their answers into practice, I would love to hear what happens. Write and tell me about it.

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As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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