A Simple Courtesy
Shared by Ken
I like how A Course in Miracles says a lot about the nature of miracles in Chapter 1 of the Text. Right out of the gate, Jesus says (in miracle principle 3) that “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.” Here is one such simple expression I experienced some years back.
I remember I was driving down the road, and listening to a recording of A Course in Miracles class about the early part of the Text on my iPod. The discussion centered on the passages about the involuntary nature of miracles and that miracle-giving needs to be under Christ-control.
My understanding about this is that Jesus wants me to give miracles only where they will be most effective. That way, as I learn to become truly helpful as a miracle worker, my miracle-giving ends up strengthening both me and the miracle-receiver, rather than leading to a feeling of sacrifice and, eventually, burnout on my part. I think the other part of this idea is that the one who received the miracle will inevitably pass it on to another; where the love continues to extend and have an impact on the world. I love how this works!
That day, as I continued to drive while listening to the audio discussion, I was approaching a crosswalk at one of the many roundabouts in my small town of Sedona, Arizona. There was a woman riding a mountain bike and she was attempting to cross the street at the same time I was approaching the roundabout crosswalk. She ended up stopping at the median right before my lane and was either going to give me the right of way or wait for me to stop. It was one of those split-second decisions where I could go either way, with plowing forward being more convenient for me in my continual rush to meet my interests. Yet this time I went with the impulse to stop and let her cross in front of me.
In that moment where she was directly in front of my car I had this huge and unexpected upwelling of love rise from within me toward this stranger. When she made it to the sidewalk on the other side of the street her back was completely to me. As I started to accelerate she turned all the way around with a big smile and started to wave back at me in appreciation for letting her pass. Of course, I accepted her gift of appreciation. I believe we both left feeling valued by our brief encounter.
I am still not really clear if this miracle was Christ-controlled. But I suspect it was, since it seemed that both the other person and I were strengthened by our encounter. I know I was left feeling joy, and more in touch with a loving and kind nature within me rather than a selfish creature out for himself.
I think what strikes me most about this encounter is just how ordinary a miracle can be—where a simple courtesy expressed can contain great love and help both giver and receiver gain on their journeys together.
And reflecting on it now, maybe that simplicity is what I find so appealing about the words of Jesus’ third principle of miracles at the very beginning of the Course:
“Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.”