Balancing the Discussion: Miracles, Satan, and Church Programs

By: jmb275
September 28, 2011

Last time I addressed the topic of our discussion in the church I talked about faith in Christ, and how we might shift our discussion from speculation on doctrines designed to create an emotional response to discussions about faith in our real lives. In perhaps a not too dissimilar vein, I’d like to talk about our discussion in the church about to whom we assign responsibility for various miracles, temptations, programs, doctrines, etc.

In a recent meeting, a sister in our ward was elaborating on temple attendance. She indicated that it was the work of the adversary that kept us from visiting the temple more often, and that this was why we didn’t have a “full service” temple. In a Young Men’s lesson not long ago, the YM president, while elaborating on the new “Duty to God” program, indicated that the program was directly from the Lord and that the boys would be blessed by God if they committed to participate. On the news, a few days ago, a local young diabetic boy passed out at school, and was rescued by some schoolmates. The parents indicated that it was a miracle from God that the boy didn’t die.

To be clear, my intent isn’t to cast doubt on the factual accuracy or truth of these statements. They may be true…or they may not. It is also not my intent to suggest that we not thank God for blessing our lives. However, the explanations we develop to explain the phenomena in our lives says a lot about our culture. It has the power to make us seem reasonable, thoughtful, and down to earth, or it could make us look…well…kooky!

Stuff happens in life. Strong groups find creative ways to explain these events, often associating supernatural causation, and redefining language to fit the beliefs of the group. Like my previous post on a similar topic, this in and of itself is not a big deal. Nevertheless, in the aggregate, these type of statements contribute toward a sentiment that I think can impede real spiritual growth. And the truth is, we might even benefit from a more…well…natural worldview.

To draw a parallel, consider how non-scientists and scientists differ in their view of natural phenomena. The non-scientist is undoubtedly able to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. They can use their senses to appreciate the song of a bird, the sun on their skin, the sight of a beautiful scene. The scientist, however, is able to do that as well as see those phenomena as mathematical models, predict the way those phenomena might behave in other situations, and use that knowledge to utilize the phenomena to benefit us.

To me this suggests that with a more natural worldview we might be in a position to create for ourselves situations that can bless our lives spiritually. Rather than merely relying on programs, miracles, or trying to prevent Satan from influencing us, we can take control of our lives and place ourselves in situations that benefit us in miraculous ways.

Another consequence of too frivolously attributing natural phenomena to supernatural origins is the potential for this to cut both ways. I’ve heard many a story of the disgruntled member of the church in the throes of a faith crisis who, because he/she has been conditioned to see supernatural causes for the events in his/her life, has erroneously assigned God the blame for unfortunate events. Can anyone doubt the danger of such a thought process? Surely combating this frame of mind must start with acknowledging God (and/or Satan) is not the almighty puppetmaster!

Finally, I think the quicker we are to assign supernatural origins to common events the cheaper the real miracles become. Changing hearts and minds is quite possibly the most miraculous event I have ever witnessed and should be celebrated as such. This miracle can stem from powerful spiritual witnesses, promptings, and feelings from the Spirit. But people overcome illnesses all the time, and church programs come and go. Certainly it is miraculous that modern medicine can cure all manner of diseases, but even so, those miracles stem from the brilliance, and dedication of people using tried and true scientific methods. And while church programs might be inspired, even church leaders “see through a glass darkly.” Reserving supernatural attribution of events and phenomena for the most special events keeps the perceived value of those miracles high.

With a little more forethought, we can make small adjustments to our language, and present material with more precision in a way that maintains faithfulness, but shows that we have given thought to other points of view, as well as the natural events that occur in the world. Instead of indicating the adversary as the reason for our poor temple attendance, we might focus on our own difficulties in making time for this important endeavor. Rather than granting the full weight of heavenly revelation to the Duty to God program, we might indicate that it is a program the church has developed to help the young men draw nearer to God using principles found in the scriptures. And although miracles may occur with the spontaneous recovery and rescue of ill patients, it appears to happen beyond the boundaries of nations, creeds, religions, and priesthood power. Humbly thanking God for compassionate people who clearly demonstrate Christlike charity to our benefit, is a very real, honest, and important message to convey. Indeed, we encourage our members to exercise Christlike love and service to others, but do we appropriately acknowledge the role they play in the fortuitous events that bless our lives?

Despite out tendency to create group solidarity, we don’t have to fall victim to assigning supernatural causes to every little event. The world turns, and things happen. Unless you’re a Calvinist, coincidence likely plays a role in your worldview at some level. There’s no shame in acknowledging that we are responsible for our lack of temple attendance, and the truth is, not every church program is sent down from on high. Rather than damaging faith, in my opinion, acknowledgment of natural causation can cause us to look deeper for the reasons things happen and the reasons for our own faith. Our faith can be strengthened by a more detailed understanding of the natural world. And real miracles can be more fully appreciated because we have reserved them for the events that change hearts and minds, and not every time someone gets over a cold!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

33 Responses to Balancing the Discussion: Miracles, Satan, and Church Programs

  1. Jules on September 28, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    You’re judging this the wrong way. I mean, it could be that God stopped the bullets, or He changed Coke to Pepsi, He found my car keys. You don’t judge this based on merit. Now, whether or not what we experienced was an “according to Hoyle” miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  2. Mike S on September 28, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    I think many Church programs are like this. On my mission, we had a program we were supposed to try. It was presented as “inspired” from the Area Presidency. We tried it diligently for several months. It failed miserably. So then we went on to the next “inspired” program.

    I think the vast majority of programs in the Church are ideas of good men sincerely trying to do their best. I don’t believe that many of them are actually “word of God” type of programs. There may be inspiration behind some of them, but I also see inspiration behind the iPhone, the realization of the shape of a benzene molecule, or the writing of a song.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 8

  3. chris on September 28, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    “but even so, those miracles stem from the brilliance, and dedication of people using tried and true scientific methods. ”

    I would suggest without the spirit of the Lord inspiring and enlightening their minds none of their brilliance or tried and true methods would have created or discovered anything more miraculous than a pile of dust.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  4. Paul on September 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    Not sure how the statements in your second paragraph relate, except that they suggest supernatural involvement.

    Of course the argument that Satan is not what keeps us from the temple (we do; we choose, after all to go or not to go) is not unique to this particular discussion. Why would church members not assume the Duty To God program comes from God and brings his blessings with it?

    The example from your second paragraph that might still hold water is whether the intervention of friends was divinely inspired / caused / sanctoined or not. And I suppose one could make a case either way.

    Finally, that the scientist can view natural happenings in terms of mathematics makes them no less divinely inspired or created. Just explainable (also) by math.

    Your penultimate paragraph does offer some good suggestions, however; acknowledging that God may work through others, and being grateful for those others (for instance) as well as for God’s blessing is not a bad thing. Nor is it a rare thing, as far as I’ve observed.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  5. jmb275 on September 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Re Jules

    What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.

    Indeed. No argument here. But this underscores the point I’m (at least trying to) making. We should shift our language to say exactly this, rather than trying to convince ourselves of the factual reality of God turning Coke into Pepsi. It’s a question of where the focus is. And I agree with you that the focus should be on feeling the touch of God. So then let’s say that instead!

    You see, you and I might very well understand that we shouldn’t judge those stories on merit. But have you ever been in a youth class and seen young people eat up these stories? It’s a setup for failure, and it cheapens real miracles. When that young man goes through hell later on in life, he’s gonna wonder why that miracle isn’t happening for him. And you know what he’ll conclude? That because of sin he’s not getting the blessings or that it’s not God’s will. It’s a warped worldview that begins when we don’t take care to say what we really mean.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  6. Paul on September 28, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    #2 Mike S, the older I get, the closer I come to your perspective about “inpsired programs” — especially “new” ones. There’s very little that is new. That an idea may work now that didn’t work a few years ago may be the result of who is working it now vs a few years ago.

    I remember a stake leadership meeting I attended a few years ago. The SP counselor leading the section with YM presidents and bishops was talking about the decay rate in activity from deacon to priest (from near 100% to less than 30%). We talked for a while about what might be done. The SP counselor (who was by then about 75 and had served as a bishop at least once and had lived in a number of non-Wasatch Front areas) said something like this: “Brethren, I’ve been at this for a long time. As long as I can remember, the statistics haven’t changed very much. This has always been a problem, and probably will always be a problem. Don’t think you’re going to solve it overnight. Do your best.”

    Refreshing.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  7. Paul on September 28, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    #5 jmb: “It’s a setup for failure, and it cheapens real miracles.”

    Or worse, it’s a setup for the continuing cynicism of youth who are on the edge of believing, pushing them away.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  8. jmb275 on September 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    Re Paul #4
    Man, I feel like I completely failed in this post to convey my point. The point had little to do with the factual accuracy of any of those statements (which is the only thing you addressed). The point is about our use of language. The point is that we don’t have to even promulgate these types of beliefs especially in our lessons and talks. We can talk about the real guts of the Gospel without assigning supernatural causation. And there are downsides to our current MO.

    Whether or not any of those things are divinely inspired is irrelevant. The point is, we don’t even need to broach that topic. I’m only tacitly addressing the factual accuracy by choosing (as you indicated) rather ridiculous examples.

    Finally, that the scientist can view natural happenings in terms of mathematics makes them no less divinely inspired or created. Just explainable (also) by math.

    Again, I guess I’ve failed here. The fact that a scientist can view natural happenings in terms of mathematics gives them power to predict, explain, and use said natural happenings to their benefit. To say it another way (which I thought I was saying in the post), by being slower to assign supernatural causation, we might look deeper into what causes our faith to increase, and we might find we can predict, explain, and use our knowledge to deepen our faith by putting ourselves in the right circumstances. Otherwise, we at least in part leave spirituality to the chance that God decides to intervene in our lives.

    Re Chris #3

    I would suggest without the spirit of the Lord inspiring and enlightening their minds none of their brilliance or tried and true methods would have created or discovered anything more miraculous than a pile of dust.

    ::shoulder shrug:: It’s a completely vacuous statement except to convince yourself that God plays a role in the great discoveries of humankind. There’s no way you (or anyone else) can know the factual accuracy of your statement, and it does nothing to increase my faith in God even if you’re right.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 4

  9. geoffsn on September 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    I had to teach the lesson in Elder’s Quorum recently on the law of chastity. Over a third of the content in the manual was about how Satan wants nothing more than for us to break the law of chastity and makes us think bad thoughts and makes women show some skin. http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-39-the-law-of-chastity?lang=eng

    I didn’t bring it up at all, largely for the reasons listed in the OP. We actually discussed sexual laws in the old and new testaments and then tried to understand what continuity the “law of chastity” has throughout the scriptures and how we can better follow it.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 9

  10. Michael on September 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    A few years ago there was a story in the news about a couple in the mid-West who were trying to have children. The went for fertility treatments and ended up have eight fertilized eggs remain attached in the womb. They ended up having all eight children.

    When the press questioned the couple as to why they did not winnow down the number of embryos to a more manageable two or three, the couple expressed horror at such a thought because, in their mind, the Lord gave them the blessing of all eight babies. He was directly involved.

    However, this was not true. The couple were infertile. So, wouldn’t it reasonably follow that if you were infertile then the Lord did NOT want you to have children? The infertility was his way of preventing that from happening? The couple circumvented the will of the Lord by using artificial means to bring children into the world.

    It is true that we are very selective in how we see the hand of Providence in the events of our daily lives. We are not consistent in our reasoning.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 10

  11. KLC on September 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    Mike S, missionary work is full of magic bullet inspired programs that will revolutionize the work and bring thousands into the fold…or not. I can sit here and think of three that I’ve experienced in my ward in the last 10 years. They all had the massive push, assignments, mythical tales of astonishing success when it was used somewhere else, hours and hours of discussion and motivation in leadership meetings and ward councils and all of them then just quietly disappeared.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  12. Paul on September 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    #8 jmb: Don’t feel you’ve failed; maybe I failed to get it. I strained at gnats, and yet I agree with your penultimate paragraph (and said so in my comment #4, and implied as much in my subsequent comments).

    Sorry for my picking.

    In the end, I agree that it is better to be thankful for God’s role in what he really does for us, rather than mindlessly attributing all good to him unilaterally. Better (and more observant) to recognize his hand in some constituent part of the good rather than to offer a blanket of praise assuming whatever he did would be covered.

    #10 Michael: interesting point of view. Would the cancer survivor, then, also be wrong in thanking God for remission since without treatment the cancer would have caused death? Do we assume death was God’s will, and that by seeking treatment the cancer survivor defied that will?

    To be sure, faith is in the eye of the beholder.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  13. jmb275 on September 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Re Paul
    Meh, it’s cool. If I sent the wrong message I would certainly like to know about it.

    Would the cancer survivor, then, also be wrong in thanking God for remission since without treatment the cancer would have caused death? Do we assume death was God’s will, and that by seeking treatment the cancer survivor defied that will?

    I think this is a great question. For me, I wouldn’t assume anything about God’s will (and generally don’t as I think it’s very presumptuous). I would thank God for my blessings, but mostly because I think being grateful is very important. Whether or not God has had anything to do with my life feels like an unanswerable question. Rather than worrying about it at all I’ll just be grateful for the good things in my life.

    Re geoffsn
    Brilliant! I would like to have been in that lesson.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  14. Jeff Spector on September 28, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Satan is way over blown in Christian theology. We talk about the influence of Satan and that to me is more correct.

    Satan doesn’t turn the channels of the TV or push anyone into a movie, or buy an apple pie and stick in in the frig, or put the web address into the browser. Satan doesn’t pour alcohol down one’s throat and push them into the car and turn on the engine. Satan doesn’t thrown us in the sack with someone other than our spouse.

    The old cartoon with the devil sitting on the shoulder whispering in our ear is more like it. We can choose to listen or not.

    OTOH, I do not see quite the same issue with attributing things to God that maybe “just” happened. It is not a bad idea to recognize our dependence on His Grace and Mercy even though He may not intervene as much as some think.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  15. shenpa warrior on September 28, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    “these type of statements contribute toward a sentiment that I think can impede real spiritual growth”

    LOVE this jmb. It reminds me of a passage in “Believing Christ” about “spiritual twinkies” as well. We may get a nice jolt of faith for a moment by placing importance on these attributions, but they might also make us sick if that’s all we eat, or if we assume that they are actually nourishing. I wonder if some even use this process as a way to AVOID having to really grow in the spiritual sense, or really trusting in God.

    Nice post, and some great comments. I also have no problem with the attributions per se, but more with the process around them.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  16. geoffsn on September 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    jmb275, I can email you the handout I made and the synopsis of the lesson if you’d like. You can email me at my gmail account, geoffsnelson

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  17. mmile on September 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Great post.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  18. jmb275 on September 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    re Jeff-

    OTOH, I do not see quite the same issue with attributing things to God that maybe “just” happened. It is not a bad idea to recognize our dependence on His Grace and Mercy even though He may not intervene as much as some think.

    Think of it like this. The Buddhist advocates liberation from both the good and the bad, primarily to avoid the pain associated with the bad. Similarly, we might eliminate attributing things to God that maybe “just” happened to avoid the potential of wrongly attributing the bad things to Him.

    Additionally, it’s not clear to me that one needs to attribute much to God to recognize our dependence on His Grace and Mercy. God is not responsible for me eating the meal I had for lunch today. I got that meal by the “sweat of my brow” (well Qdoba helped). But, the primary miracle and way in which we are recipients of his grace and mercy are in salvation through the atonement. It’s pretty clear to me, based on scripture and theology, the importance of that topic, and I feel like we could spend a lot more time discussing our dependence on God in that context to fulfill the need you’re suggesting rather than trying to convince ourselves that God is responsible for all the brilliant ideas to ever come out of a human brain.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  19. Neal on September 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Totally agree with this post.

    Assigning nearly every event in our lives to the workings of God brings us nearer to Fatalism, in which we abandon the responsibility to think and act for ourselves and trust that whatever happens “was what God meant to happen”. This flies in the face of our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the purpose of a mortal probation, and the mandate from God to ‘act, rather than being acted upon’.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  20. Jeff Spector on September 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    JMB,

    “rather than trying to convince ourselves that God is responsible for all the brilliant ideas to ever come out of a human brain.”

    I can easily accept this idea. After all, if we are put on this earth to figure it out for ourselves, the model fails if God is always intervening to save us from ourselves.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  21. shenpa warrior on September 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    “if we are put on this earth to figure it out for ourselves, the model fails if God is always intervening to save us from ourselves”

    Nicely put Jeff.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  22. kevinr on September 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    I felt much hope in your OP, as I have tried to spread similar ideas in my small sphere of influence in the church. But, I get discouraged often, like last Sunday when I heard a Sacrament meeting talk from a returned mission president, describing how he instructed the missionaries to pray earnestly and “get” answers on their evening work-out of the next day’s schedule, such that they all should have the assurance that that schedule was approved by God. Then, even if something fell through the next day, they would or should feel intensely that they were still in the right place at the right time and make an opportunity out of where they were. He then followed that up with one story of how that worked. I imagined many missionaries who didn’t have such experiences, too, and I had a generally not so good feeling while listening to the talk’s “moral of the story” in our (us regular members) lives of supposing that God is in every detail of every minute. I felt that old Mormon attitude coming through the talk that “we” have all the answers and “they” don’t. It was disheartening. How do we get the broader message, the not-so-parochial message, the new language mentioned in the OP?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  23. jmb275 on September 28, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Re kevinr

    How do we get the broader message, the not-so-parochial message, the new language mentioned in the OP?

    A great question. For me, I have been able to exert the most influence by being an instructor in the YM quorums. Much like geoffsn indicated in comment #16, lessons can be presented in a faith promoting way that doesn’t give in to the cultural oddities. I try to give lessons that ask hard questions that I myself have wrestled with, and I usually acknowledge that I find the issues complex, and don’t see easy answers. I try to focus on real implementations of Gospel principles, not abstract loosely connected platitudes. That’s honestly about the best way I can come up with. And, to be fair, it has worked well in those quorums. I get lots of compliments on my lessons from the boys and the other leaders. They can tell something is different because they have been forced to think harder.

    I have tried to comment in SS from time to time, but I usually get blank stares like I’m from an alien planet. Last week I suggested something along the lines of the Poelman talk about the Church and Gospel (ironically delivered in 1984). I really thought that was precisely what the teacher was driving at. But when I actually brought it up I got blank stares and a sort of “moving on” statement from the instructor (not even the token acknowledgment usually expected from a church instructor). It was weird because I really thought I did it in a nice, faith promoting way. But clearly the folks in my ward weren’t ready to broach such an idea.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  24. John on September 29, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Isnt it odd that a church that places so much emphasis on personal responsibility and accountability would unknowingly disempower their members by allowing them to blame the devil for every bad thing, every “wrong” choice, every failing?

    Seriously, at what point do we take responsibilty for ourselves and own up to our own choices instead of blaming our favorite boogeyman (the devil) for everything?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  25. Chino Blanco on September 29, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    I’m noting a lot of similar themes in this post and these research findings.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  26. hawkgrrrl on September 29, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    I agree with John, but I think it’s 2 different types of people. There are those in the church who are superstitious and focus on seeing God’s hand in all trivial things as a way to prove they are right in their beliefs. There are those who feel grateful for the good things that happen but responsible for their own actions and circumstances.

    In the leadership book Good to Great, this is called the window & the mirror. Merely good leaders look out the window to find external causes when bad things happen and in the mirror to find internal causes when good things happen (minimizing their responsibility). Great leaders look out the window when good things happen and in the mirror when bad things happen (maximizing their personal responsibility).

    Like this comment? Thumb up 3

  27. jmb275 on September 29, 2011 at 6:46 AM

    Re Chino

    I’m noting a lot of similar themes in this post and these research findings.

    That’s an interesting research study. I suspect my posts in this vein are much less an observation, and more a reflection of my own personal experience. I certainly fit into some of those issues.

    Thanks for the link.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  28. hawkgrrrl on September 29, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    Chino & jmb275, you are killin me. I literally just finished writing up a post on that article! Stay tuned.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  29. kevinr on September 29, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Chino Blanco, thanks again for your link. That’s some amazing research and so very close to why I believe many of Mormon youth are leaving, too. By the way, I lost connection to a blog discussion you were in on a week or so ago where you were lamenting something along the lines of the Church doesn’t value or ask for your opinions or want people like you (something like that). I can’t remember where the blog was, but I’d like to continue reading it. I’m one of those bloggers that mostly reads the discussions and I don’t post often. I love your insights and really hope for some changes in the Church to allow more openness. I guess a lot depends on individuals, though I never figure my two cents in a Sunday School class will ever make a difference. Do you remember that blog discussion and where it was? Thanks.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  30. Chino Blanco on September 29, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    kevinr- here you go(but pls don’t take this as an endorsement of that blog, they’re kind of “out there” and prone to rabble-rousing).

    By the way, I’ve been listening to Terryl Givens over at Mormon Stories and he mentioned a GA comparing the current exodus to Kirtland.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  31. Aaron L on September 30, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    #19 – I totally agree with the sentiment that literal belief can cause us to relinquish all personal responsibility if taken to an extreme. Fortunately, most people, even those who are strong believers keep on going to the doctor and taking the initiative to solve their own problems, even if it means turning to science (gasp!).

    The rub lies in finding the correct balance. One could use the same logic to go to the other extreme and say that nothing that happens to us is the result of God or Satan – it’s all due to the pragmatic (or not so pragmatic) choices that we make and random chance.

    I tend to fall more towards the second school of thought, but ultimately we don’t really know for sure which is correct. I’ve never heard any good explanations of the metaphysics behind how exactly Satan tempts or how God does the opposite and until such an explanation exists, we are only guessing.

    2 Nephi 2:16 says “Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.”

    So on the one hand we have free will, but on the other everything we do is the result of being enticed by God or the Devil. I don’t think we can resolve this problem until it is determined which is correct.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  32. YvonneS on September 30, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I agree with the idea that our vocabulary needs to be enlarged to be more precise about what we are saying. I think we often give false impressions of exactly what we are talking about. I am thinking specifically about they way we talk about personal revelation and of hearing the voice of the Lord. To often we use language that sounds as though God is in our room when what we mean is that we have had an impression. But, it is unlikely we did actually hear God’s voice.

    On the other hand passing out because of low blood sugar when a child is a type I diabetic is life threatening. No one spontaneously recovers from this kind of insulin shock. But, a spoonful of sugar goes a long way to helping in the recovery which is swift and complete when caught in time. It may not be miraculous because of how easy to treat it is. It might be miraculous if it happens when there is no one around who knows what to do.

    In the broader context of imprecise language to fail to recognize the gravity of a situation is as serious as make it bigger than it is.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  33. mudonme on October 8, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    As I have grappled with some of the same issues and questions that were brought up, I really enjoyed this post.

    I remember sitting through meetings as a youth and having the feeling that either I was totally unaware or that the instructor had missed the mark. Either way, it felt like a bust when what I needed was a clear answer..even if the answer was “I don’t know.”

    It seems that too often we are not able to be honest and simply admit our limited knowledge on issues. Often I find myself wondering why we think answers need to be finite when we clearly do not live in that kind of world. I have learned much from those who were willing to risk and give an opinion that caused me to think and look at things in a new way.

    I believe miracles are in the eye of the beholder. Whatever events occur in my life that allow me to deem interactions and results as miraculous are up to me. Whether anybody else thinks so is immaterial. They did not walk the same road in the same way that I did. However, I do feel a responsibility to put the facts out as I know them and not as a folk tale that became embellished each time it was told.

    Honesty in communication is a rare thing. Perhaps it is because our opinions can change daily as we are exposed to more truth or acquire more understanding and revisit old beliefs. For me, the challenge is to remain open in heart and head to new concepts.

    I am late getting in on this post and quite possibly nobody will read this. No matter. I needed to say it.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

Leave a Reply

Subscribe without commenting

Archives

%d bloggers like this: