I believe in miracles.
I used to think that miracles look like angels coming down from on high in flashes of glory and light and maybe that’s still true, but those are neither the kinds I’ve witnessed nor the kinds that changed my life. The miracles I see every single day are the ones that are the result of small actions moved upon with the same kind of faith that helped the builders of the pyramids: by stacking small blocks on top of small blocks many times over, we can create something that would be considered a wonder of the world.
As a parent, sometimes I will ask my children to clean their rooms and they will take one step in and overwhelmed with the mess, throw up their arms in defeat, exclaiming:
“Dad, I don’t even know where to start!”
As a dad, I am always tempted in this moment to take an “I told you so” moment with them. To remind them of the 100 reminders I gave them to not let things get so far out of control that it would come to this perplexing place. But that is not what is useful to them and it won’t achieve my hope of a clean room either. This is a teaching moment.
“Start with that sock. And then let’s get that toy,” I’ll say.
I see most people fail at grand efforts because their goal is that grand effort, instead of putting one block on top of another block. When I weighed 440 pounds, I was like my kids in a filthy room and I didn’t know where to start. I was scared of failure and questioned my worthiness of the blessing that awaited me in my greatest life.
Every miracle in my life has come by putting blocks on top of blocks or by picking up a toy and then a sock. In the case of my physical journey, it started with losing one pound. Eventually, by taking care of things one at a time, you can put away all the socks or lose all of the pounds. I never lost 225 pounds. I lost one pound 225 times.
The first step in the journey towards a miracle is oftentimes called a leap of faith. You are believing in something that cannot be seen but is very real. A leap is by definition terrifying. Some will try to talk you out of it. These may even include yourself.
Other times, things outside your control will happen and your pyramid will fall or weather will kill the seed. You will be tempted to say that your miracle was impossible and you would have been better off not even trying.
But like a parent, life has a teaching moment and the lesson it taught me is that overcoming failure turns stories into legends. And the best way I know to overcome failure is by producing a miracle: one pound at a time.