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Eagle Eyes

At times I have succumbed to the stress of many moderate-to-large, seemingly “extra” expenses Ruth and I have incurred since the start of the new year. During times like these, when I feel like I’ve been “knocked down by a tidal wave,” I call on a good friend, namely, “perspective.”

One inner voice I’ve heard lately is “we always land on our feet.” Indeed, some combination of intentionality, focused effort and grace has repeatedly served to douse the fires of drama and to right the course.

Good ole synchronicity smiled on me this morning as I contemplated everyday miracles, starting with the miracles of our bodily functions — as basic as the sustenance we continually receive from breath itself. When I mentioned to Ruth that I was calculating the vast number of our heartbeats per year and the miles of blood vessels each of us has inside, she replied in amazement, “I just read that two minutes ago” in the book “The Greatest Miracle” (I have never even picked up that book). Ruth informed me that the numbers were much larger and more staggering than I had figured or could imagine: our hearts beat 36 million times annually and blood passes through 600 miles of veins, arteries and capillaries! Then I began thinking about the global fascination with modern technology. I’m even in sheer awe of “old hat” technology like friction on matches creating fire; water coming out of faucets; switches activating lights; telephone, radio and TV transmissions; jets breaking the sound barrier; etc. My problems and stresses tend to fade in the midst of revisiting such phenomena. And if they don’t dissipate, I reach for various forms of humor (often to the lament of my family and friends).

Surah (chapter) 31, in the Koran contains a verse (“ayat” 27) that poetically expresses the depth of my gratitude as well as anything I’ve ever come across: “If all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean were ink, with seven oceans behind it to add to its supply, yet would not the words of Allah (G-d) be exhausted in the writing.” Simply stated, it is literally impossible to recount all of G-d’s, teachings and wonders/glory. My money concerns are instantly washed away in the infinite and infinitely beautiful “ocean.”

A final realization this morning, as I was “flying with eagle eyes,” compassionately peering down on my “ant-sized” worries: nobody has ever lived more than a split second in the scheme of eternity. Might as well enjoy a banana split while my taste buds are alive.

-Jim Sharon

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Jim and Ruth Sharon

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