Giving thanks: Take time to appreciate miracle of our existence

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During this special season, it is important to focus on the many wonderful blessings that life has to offer. The fact that we are alive is truly a miracle that we should all embrace in every moment of every day of our existence.

Unfortunately, as we consider our world, things can seem very bad. We observe poverty, disease, dysfunctional relationships, abuse, crime, financial instability, political instability, social injustice, war – the list seems to go on and on. Our 24-hour news cycle never seems to stop showing us a terrible and frightening world that is out of control.

BUT THIS DOES not have to be our reality. It seems to be very difficult, but the truth is that we have the capability to create positive change.

In this very moment, you are alive. This seems very common and normal, but only because we usually take life for granted. We do not consider that the probability is very, very, very tiny that life would even exist on this planet, much less that you would be born and thus become a part of creating the reality of our existence. Billions of people live here, so life seems very ordinary, but it is time for us to recognize that we are indeed very, very extraordinary. It is time to accept the fact that you are a miracle.

For you to exist, now, one particular sperm and one particular egg had to come together at the precise moment of conception under perfect conditions. Thousands upon thousands of other sperm and eggs could have come together, but did not. You did. The odds of this happening are infinitesimal, yet you are here. You survived! And you multiplied. From that unique and divine beginning, you are now billions and billions and billions of cells that have somehow come together to be a living, functional human being. Truly, you are a miracle.

But our existence is much more than that. Much more. Life is very common on our planet, but only because the conditions are perfect for life to flourish. Our Earth is the perfect distance from our sun so that we do not burn up or freeze. Our solar system and galaxy are speeding through this vast universe at thousands and thousands of miles per hour, and we all live happily in the illusion that we are standing still.

Listen, and we can hear the beautiful music of the birds singing or the crickets chirping, trying to remind us that we are part of a magnificent creation. Nature is teeming with countless varieties of life that is obviously designed to live in perfect balance and harmony.

OUR BODIES ARE also designed to function in balance and harmony. If we are relatively healthy, each cell, each organ, works perfectly, and we do not even have to think about it. The human body is very intelligent. Everything is controlled subconsciously. At this moment, blood is flowing perfectly, digestion is happening, and the brain is working to help you read and understand this.

Yes, we grow tired and need to rest, but even in our magical sleep state, where we get to experience unlimited dreams, everything continues to work. The body knows what to do.

Every moment of every day of your life, you are breathing – yet, have you noticed? Take a moment, now, to just breathe and pay attention. Notice how the very simple process of inhaling can help you to feel good inside, or perhaps even have a calming, peaceful effect. This process is so important. Breathing is the beginning of life. Breathing is the end of life. Breathing is our connection with Spirit. Air is invisible, and the perfect oxygen/nitrogen mixture that we intake sustains our body, and also, can help us to realize and remember that we are actually much more than just physical. We are actually miraculous spiritual beings.

Each and every human being is a living, breathing example of the miraculous. Deep inside, every person knows that we have been created by an intelligence that is far beyond our comprehension. This magnificent creation is truly a reflection of our Creator, but we can only see a tiny, tiny portion of the mirror.

We may not be able to see God. We may not be able to understand God. But deep inside, we all know that we are a part of God. Each one of us is a magnificent Child of God. Each one of us is truly a miracle.

The tragic difficulties of our world seem to be getting worse and worse, spinning out of control and causing many to lose hope. Things are so bad that only a miracle can solve our problems. Could it be that we are that miracle? Could it be that the solution to our challenges are actually within each of us?

GOD HAS GIVEN each of us the gift of life. During this season of giving thanks and remembering our many blessings, it is important to realize that what we do with this life is our gift back to our Creator. In this moment you are free to choose to be the miracle for others that is so desperately needed. Remember to share your love and light with everyone and in all things, and together, perhaps we can change our world.

Perhaps we can create peace. Peace within us. Peace among us. Peace on Earth. Thank you for being the miracle.

(The writer is the owner of Sunshine Bakery in Augusta.)

Comments (5) Add comment
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seenitB4
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seenitB4 11/20/11 - 10:22 am
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You certainly have the right

You certainly have the right name to your bakery..Sunshine

Wishing you a bright & happy season.

Jane18
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Jane18 11/20/11 - 11:35 am
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Very nice letter Mr. Kaplan,

Very nice letter Mr. Kaplan, and I sincerely mean this. But, there is only ONE that can create peace, cause it to be in us, and among us. The Peace on Earth will only happen when HE comes again(Second Advent).

david jennings
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david jennings 11/20/11 - 12:21 pm
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I enjoyed Mr. Kaplan' column

I enjoyed Mr. Kaplan' column so much I am saving it to read again through out this holiday season. Thank you Mr. Kaplan and Thank You Lord your many many blessings.

crkgrdn
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crkgrdn 11/20/11 - 01:59 pm
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Steven, what a wonderful

Steven, what a wonderful editorial! Certainly we get swamped by the culture and miss what is most important. I am saving your editorial to share with family and friends.

Best Wishes

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 11/21/11 - 11:49 pm
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Your intentions are nice,

Your intentions are nice, but you missed it. Just as you stated, the miracle that we are, began with God, and not with us. We must always begin with God to have any hope of change or peace. When we begin with ourselves, we end up with ourselves. Not one of us are sufficient.

We began with God and if we stay with God; ("Abide in Him, and He will abide in You") we will end up with Him. Our focus must become God, not self. No matter how good our intentions or how hard we try, we just can't overcome this world or ourselves without Him.

The answers lie not within ourselves, but within our relationship to Christ.

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