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Eric Christiansen: Opening our eyes to miracles and more

Learn to look around and see the real miracles in your life

Posted: February 12, 2009 11:25 p.m.
Updated: February 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Eric Christiansen Eric Christiansen
Eric Christiansen
A self-portrait of an actual miracle, left to right, Eric Christiansen, Peter Christiansen and Will Christiansen prepare to hit the slopes. A self-portrait of an actual miracle, left to right, Eric Christiansen, Peter Christiansen and Will Christiansen prepare to hit the slopes.
A self-portrait of an actual miracle, left to right, Eric Christiansen, Peter Christiansen and Will Christiansen prepare to hit the slopes.
The car was packed. The snowboards, jackets and gloves were set out the night before. My two sons, Peter, 10, and Will, 9, came into my room that morning at 4:45 a.m. excited to celebrate a special day with their dad.

From an "adult" point of view, playing hooky to go snowboarding was not "prudent" - what with the economy and all - much less taking the kids out of school. But today was a day to celebrate a special gift, a gift of several years of continued sobriety.

Later that day, on the ski lift it shot through me like electricity. I turned to my boys, looked into their soulful blue eyes and prounced: "You are miracles."

Not only were they miracles of life, but also the sheer fact of their existence, the fact we are together is a true miracle when 18 years ago I was dying physically, mentally and spiritually. I was saved by a true act of grace and as a result here we were swooshing down the slopes together.

Miracles, blessings and answered prayers abound in all of our lives, if we can only see them or allow them to happen. Daily we are bombarded with negative news. I see it clearly on the faces around me, a sad draining of hope producing a white-knuckle approach to life. But, when I stepped out this morning the sun still rose in the same place and a cold wind kissed my face as it has in the past. What has changed?

Nothing, except for my perception. Unfortunately, I see things two ways, my way or the other way. I have effectively blocked out 358 views, and put two-degree blinders on ignoring the full 360.

It's all a matter of perspective. Let me explain, Indiana Jones is being chased by the baddies as he comes to an edge of a bottomless chasm. Behind him is certain death by baddies and in front of him an endless fall. What does he do? He takes a step of faith into the black, right into the chasm! His foot lands on a pedestal and as the camera changes angles we see there are pedestals all the way across and he walks to freedom. From Indy's point of view there was no hope, from the other view there was always a way. All he had to do was take that first step of faith.

My God is a creative God. He painted the skies blue and the daisies yellow and it follows that He answers us in creative ways. I often miss the answer because I sit waiting for something red to come in the front door when something yellow comes through the window. I then deny it because it is not what I asked for it, when often the yellow through the window is what I need.

I find myself praying for patience, prosperity, creativity, the ability to help others and a spiritual connectedness. I never get them directly, but I am offered an opportunity. For example, when I cried out for sobriety I was not struck sober. But instead I was given a simple (not easy) program of action, connecting me with God and a wonderful fellowship. In the same manner, when I ask for spiritual connectedness I get my 7-year-old daughter Kathryn. Her innocence is unaffected by the world and its negativity. I see it in her step (more of a skip) and in her smile. A few months ago I went into her bedroom to hear her prayers and tuck her in. When I asked her to say her prayers she replied, "let me get my prayer journal."

I was thinking she would pull out a piece of paper with a few scrawls on it. To my surprise she pulled out a small booklet which she had artfully and reverently decorated on the outside cover. As she opened it up my heart swelled. Inside she had written out her prayers quite meticulously, direct prayers of an innocent. As she read each item line by line with earnest conviction I began to tear up. Through her innocent eyes and open heart her prayers are answered daily and so are mine.

Eric Christiansen lives in Santa Clarita with his wife and three kids where he directs and edits commercials and documentaries. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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