Three monks sat by a lake meditating. Their eyes were shut.
Suddenly, the first one stood up. He said, "I forgot my mat." He stepped onto the water and walked across the lake to their hut on the other side. He returned the same way.
A second monk stood up, later. He said, "I forgot to put my underwear in the Sun to dry." He walked calmly over the water to the hut. He returned the same way.
The third monk watched the first two carefully. He decided their feat must be a test of his own abilities. "Is your learning so superior to mine? I too can match any feat you two can perform!" he exclaimed. He rushed to the edge of the lake, planning to walk across it. He promptly fell into the water.
Undeterred, the monk got out of the water and tried again. He sank promptly, once more. Again he got out and tried to walk over the water. This went on for a while. The other monks watched.
Finally, the second monk turned to the first. He asked, "Do you think we should tell him where the stones are?"
The above wise tale, from Buddhism, speaks of the practical wisdom taught in all great religious traditions. Walking across the lake was as common sense as knowing where the rocks were and stepping on them. The third monk did not consider the potential practical options to his assumption of the miraculous. Because it appeared miraculous, he assumed the miraculous.
While the apparently~miraculous can happen, we need to beware fascination with what appears miraculous. Obsession with or over-esteeming of the apparently~miraculous can lead us to lose focus on the practicality of the spiritual walk daily, and in the most sublime~ordinary ways.
Why do I speak of apparently~miraculous? Miracles are usually assumed to defy natural law, or, better, natural processes. In that sense there is no such thing as a miracle.
What we usually mean by miracles is the Divine Spirit working in unfamiliar ways. The One does this with and within the natural processes. The processes are responsive at microcosmic~atomistic levels to Divine Potency energies. For the potencic operations are a part of that all-pervading Potency.
The apparently~miraculous is resultant of Pure Spirit energies working in a less common way than usual or at subtle levels that defy ordinary consciousness. The Divine Configuration of natural processes is a cooperation, still, between the Grace energies and the life-force within nature.
On the other hand, by not looking for the miraculous, we come more easily to another insight. Everything is a miracle. Just imagine all the processes of Divine Potency moving upon and in evolving nature and over eons to allow you to have the apparatus of the eye to read this writing.
Miracle defined as the marvels of nature resultant of the Christ energies working to evolve the divinely-natural processes within nature leads us to rejoice in everyday miracles. These bring much blessing to our daily lives.
I would choose to live my life without seeing what many call a miracle, rather than missing one day of relishing with awe the miraculous of the sublime~ordinary.
1) What are some of the sublime~ordinary blessings you tend to take for granted daily?
2) Why do you think great sages would warn against seeking the "miraculous"?
3) What is it within us that seeks the un-ordinary, as though the un-ordinary is more marvelous and spiritual than the ordinary?
See next page for details on OneLife Ministries, Brian's book An Ache for Union, and material pertaining to sources used in the writing.
Feel free to submit a query. Thanks! Brian K. Wilcox
See next page for Invitation to writer's contemplative village, purpose of OneLife, data on ordering author's book and upcoming devotionals 2008, and material on citations.