Thursday, October 12, 2017

Miracles and God

'Can we expect God to perform miracles?' This is a question that has bothered me for quite a while. It is very comforting to believe that when we are in need (or when we want something) we can pray to God to do a miracle to help us out. The problem is just that God seems to 'act' in 'strange' (difficult to understand) ways. Sometimes things work out the way we want them to be and sometimes they don't and whether this can be attributed to God doesn't seem to be clear. So the question remains!

I have had many 'answers' (hypotheses) on this matter. Mercifully, the none of the answers have persisted for a very long time. I have learned quite a bit about myself and my relationship with God by watching how my answers have evolved over time. So what follows is just 'my current thinking on the matter' (what a beautiful 'consultant-like' phrase!)

First, our understanding of what is 'natural' and what is 'super-natural' has evolved significantly. As we understand nature more, we become more aware of the 'miraculous' nature of nature. So 'miracles' might not as unusual as we might think they are. Also, to me, trying to understand the creator by understanding the (patterns in the) creation definitely qualifies as a spiritual pursuit.

Yes, God is not a genie (that will do our bidding) or even some sort of s cosmic vending machine (that can give us what we want if we 'pay' a specified 'price'- like a particular prayer or a ritual or an action). It would be an insult to both God and us to think of God as an entity that can be compelled to respond in a particular way.

So what is my 'current thinking on the matter'? I think that the most important thing about God is that He is always with us. When 'miracles' do happen I prefer to think of them as a message from God that he is very much around and that the overall tendency of the universe is towards life. I think of miracles as gratis - something that happens without we causing it or earning it. Yes, we can definitely make ourselves open to grace and to miracles (or at least stop resisting them). So, to me miracles just happen without we doing anything - essentially to encourage us to look beyond the mundane aspects of life - to be more aware of the miraculous nature of the world that we are living in -  to recapture our wide-eyed sense of wonder and childlike zest for life - to be more enthusiastic (en theos : with God) - to be aware of the presence of God in our midst!

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