I arrived at Harbin Hot Springs at two o’clock in the morning, tired and hungry. Quickly I found my way to the locker room, peeled off my clothes, and immersed myself in the soothing body-temperature mineral waters. Ahhhhhhhhh . . . Instantly I could feel my tired muscles, stiff and aching after a long day’s travel, unwinding and absorbing the warmth of the healing waters. I found a seat on the underwater ledge, leaned my head back against the rim of the pool, and naked before God, gazed into the endless starry night. Silently I uttered a prayer of thanks for finding my way to this healing sanctuary.
But there was still a problem: I was famished. I had not eaten for many hours and, unable to find a store or restaurant during my late-night drive through the rural mountain region, I arrived without any provisions. The onsite restaurant would not be open until the morning, and I began to feel anxious about not being able to get anything to eat until the next day.
Then I looked around me and realized I was in a place of great beauty and well-being. An all-night candle issued its mellow glow just above my head, while a mountain stream chanted a playful lullaby just a few yards from the pool. Surely God was in this place. Though I was alone, I was not alone spiritually. Somehow, I reasoned, I would be taken care of; even if I had to go without food for a while, my heart was full.
Just then my reveries were interrupted by something touching my lip — an object had floated toward me and bumped into my mouth. I reached to remove it and discovered it was a fresh fig! Can you imagine my surprise and delight to find a sweet delicacy finding me in the middle of a hungry night? In rhythm with the grace of the moment I opened my mouth and received communion from providence — the tastiest fig I have ever enjoyed.
Then I looked up to find that I was sitting beneath a huge fig tree that spread its leafy limbs out over my entire section of the pool! Below the tree were many figs, freshly fallen, floating on the surface of the pool. I made a short round and collected a handful. Then I went on to enjoy a most treasured midnight snack.
This most significant experience has become a key metaphor for my life. It reminded me that wherever I am, God is. I am always taken care of, often in ways I could not control or plan on. The miracle fig arrived at the very moment I surrendered my sense of struggle and remembered that all was well. What better formula for abundant living?
Now I am recognizing that there always figs (metaphorically speaking) wherever I go. A Course in Miracles asks us to remember, "I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me." Perhaps Albert Einstein said it best: "There are only two ways to live your life: As if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is a miracle."
My sense of awe is expanding daily; I am recapturing the wonder of childhood, which faded from my life when I was told that if I wanted something good to happen, I had to manipulate to get it. Now I know that something good is always happening, and all I have to do is discover it.
Recently, I was waiting in the checkout line at the local health food store. In front of me was a little boy, perhaps a year old, sitting in the seat of his mother’s shopping basket. I caught the child’s eyes, and he burst into a huge smile. Then he began to giggle and wave his hands in ecstacy. This child was living in pure bliss. At that moment it occurred to me that his joy was not dependent on anything that was happening around him. Waves of delight were just rolling up from inside of him. He was thrilled to just be alive and feel the presence of life in him, through him, as him.
Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel wrote a wonderful book called God in Search of Man. We do not have to search for God; we just need to show up right where we are, and God will find us. My fig miracle was not an exception to the laws of life; it was the fulfillment of them. There are an infinite number of figs to be enjoyed, and an infinite number of ways they can reach us. "Wherever I am, God is, and all is well."
Why Your Life Sucks... and what you can do about it
by Alan Cohen.
With great humor, great examples, and exhilarating directness, Why Your Life Sucks doesn’t just spell out the ways in which you undermine your power, purpose, and creativity–it shows you how to reverse the damage. Here is an encouraging but loud-and-clear reminder that in every moment we generate our own experience by the choices we make, and that today is the best day to begin your new life.
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About The Author
Alan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker in Hawaii, December 1-6, for an extraordinary retreat, “A Course in Miracles: the Easy Path.” For more information about this program, Alan’s Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 1, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com