Define Miracle

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I’ve been tracking my weight at the same time every morning for several months now – ever since I admitted I was powerless, gave responsibility for my fitness over to God, ballooned up to 290 pounds, and took responsibility for my fitness back with God’s help.

Last Saturday two things happened. I got a group text from my local mentor about the Christian joys of recognizing our utter powerlessness . That grabbed my attention since I don’t necessarily agree.  After all the bibles says, “… God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” I think the presence of the Spirit in each of us combined with God’s gift of freewill gives each of us amazing agency.

Not directly after reading that text, but a bit later, I exercised my freewill quite robustly.  I spent the entire day eating: bacon, potatoes fried in bacon fat, a total of eight chicken sausages with bacon and cheddar inside, about the same number of bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, six cookies, and an assortment of other tailgate food at the UNLV game including shrimp, party wieners wrapped in crescent roll dough, and pasta salad.

Walking to the bathroom this morning and reflecting on my online discussion with Sarah RussoJP Kim and Matthew Wimer about witnessing a miracle first hand, I asked God for one. I laughed out loud and said, “Yes. I’m asking for a miracle. Affirm my faith for me. Do a little trick miracle just for me. Make me smaller today than I was yesterday. Grant me miraculous weight loss. Make me 248. Yup, 248. Make me 248 Jesus, please. Just because you can. Do a miracle for me!”

It was one of those real conversations where I was speaking from the heart and God was listening. My stomach tingled. Something was going on. I stepped on the scale praying for joyful affirmation and boom! 247.2. I had filled my face all day, shoveled in one last sausage at the end of the night, and lost 2 full pounds.

My giggling woke my wife (I’m neither boring nor easy to live with).

Miracles, at least this one, aren’t defined objectively.  There is always an alternate explanation available or a lack of video documentation.  Miracles are personal.  Mine is defined by a complete disconnect between rational expectation and reality.   I won’t be able to convert Ed Wing with this evidence, and I’m sure it’s far less powerful for others, but for me. It’s like a huge bell ringing in my head.

I love the tension it creates between me being in charge of my weight loss and me being completely powerless with God in charge. Obviously those two things are mutually exclusive and completely true at the same time.

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