You can create a miracle if you want. I really mean it and I can demonstrate this if you bear with me. Tonight is the first night of Chanukah and it’s a big event at the Pilgrim palace.
My wife looks for any excuse to invite a boatload of people over and tonight we’ll be packed. We don’t make any big fuss about presents – in fact, we don’t even exchange them. We’ve learned how to stop spending money in that department. But we do really enjoy having our closest friends over and look forward to it.
In preparation for the holiday, my wife and I went to a lecture last night.
There, we heard two really bright men speak about the meaning of Chanukah. Before I get to their message (which was super powerful and inspiring to us), I want to make sure you know the story behind the holiday.
In 165 BCE, warriors led by Judah Maccabee kicked the tar out of the soldiers of the Greek-Syrian Empire who were occupying (and misbehaving) in the Holy Land. Mr. Maccabee got rid of the bad guys and then rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
When he did so, he lit a candelabra (known as a menorah). Even though he had very little oil, it actually burned for eight days according to the story. This is why the holiday is referred to as the “Festival of Lights.”
What has this got to do with a personal finance blog?
Well…I think quite a bit.
You see, Chanukah celebrates the miracles that took place at that time (Judah Maccabee beating the much stronger Greek-Syrian army and the oil that lasted for eight days when it was only really enough for one day.)
These were indeed miracles. But a very different type of miracle than the “please make it rain and poof…you’ve got a thunderstorm,” everyday, run-of-the-mill miracle.
1. These miracles required action. Somebody had to do something in order for these wonderful events to take place.
2. These people took action despite minimal odds of success. They had faith.
3. They had faith and took action despite a high cost of failure because they were doing something for their community – not just themselves.
That was the message I got, and it really got me thinking.
If you think about it, miracles are actually inevitable when you take action, have faith and serve others. Right?
I hope you don’t think I’ve had a few too many latkes (traditional Chanukah delicacy of shredded potatoes fried in oil) but I really think that when our actions incorporate all three elements, we do create miracles – even if we fail to reach our ultimate objective.
Let’s say your goal is to create a healthy cooking blog. You focus on helping others improve their health and you launch the blog despite never having written before.
You may not become a pro blogger in a year – but maybe you’ll change some lives. Maybe you’ll help someone live longer than they otherwise would. And at the same time, you might fulfill your dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Those are miracles…aren’t they?
So my question to you is, what miracle do you want to manufacture this coming year? Do you believe that if you embrace the three requirements, miracles will manifest? Are there other requirements that I’ve missed? Have you experienced these kinds of miracles yourself?