"Miracles are never wrought without prayer, felt need, and faith...they are the natural result of the Messiah's presence among men."
Bible Dictionary

Friday, April 3, 2015

Miracles (2 of 3)

Note : Knowledge of Utah geography will enhance your reading experience.

About a month ago, Utah got hit with a nice winter blizzard. Being from Arizona, and seeing that it was March, I was woefully unprepared. It happened to be one of the two days a week that I take the Frontrunner from Provo about 40 minutes north to South Jordan to go to Neuroworx...but actually this had been an interesting day already. It was Fat Tuesday, and iHop gives out free pancakes and raises money for the children's hospital. Not wanting to miss out on such an opportunity, my friends and I made a heroic effort to wake up early and try to partake before our schedules sent us scrambling back every which way to our normal routines. Alas, we neglected to factor our location in a college (these people love free food) town full of Mormons (these people love free food) into our schedule. So we were sent scrambling back. With a McDonald's breakfast instead. Pitiful.
That story has absolutely nothing to do with the point of the post except to highlight that in all that time running around Provo and Orem before I hopped on the Frontrunner to head up North to NeuroWorx the weather was great, just a little chilly! However, as I crept closer and closer to my destination, the snow started and became heavier and heavier. In my (limited) opinion, it was a full on blizzard, and when the train doors opened I was going to have no choice but to do battle with it.


I hate the cold and the winter elements. It's not that I'm a Scrooge and hate the whole season, it's just winter is hard for me for a few really legitimate reasons. First, as you might have guessed, it's hard to navigate a wheelchair around through snow and ice! You slip and slide and sometimes can't go around drifts or "step over" trouble spots.
Second, as you might not have guessed, because of my injury, I have a hard time regulating my body temperature. I'm almost cold blooded sometimes. So when it gets cold and I have to stay out in it, my muscles will tighten up like crazy and hurt. Which is bad if I need my hands to drive my chair out of the train, down the platform, across the tracks, down the ramp, along the road, across the road, down the sidewalk, through the parking lot, and into Neuroworx.

Back to March 3rd

So I get off the train and start the aforementioned route. I'm feeling it already because I didn't do a sufficient weather check to realize it'd be a blizzard just 40 minutes north of Provo, and I'm only wearing my "cold" outfit, not my "cold cold" gear. Anyway I'm going along, cold, but I'm making it okay! All the way until I get to the transition between the "across the road" and the "down the sidewalk" parts. Turns out, this transition features a little 45 degree wedge-like ramp. It's the only way off the road I'm crossing (which is moderately busy) and it's covered in snow and ice. I don't have any options except to go through it, so I do. Well, I try to. I make it halfway up before my wheels start spinning and I stop moving. I've been in these positions before, and usually I can pull back and try again, or turn slightly and power through. But, none of that is working, and I start panicking. I'm feeling worse and worse because of the cold, and less and less certain of how I'm going to get unstuck. Finally, I offer a quick prayer for help and jam my driving controls forward as hard as I can. And it works! My chair rocks back precariously and I zoom over the whole snow pile, almost running off the sidewalk on the other side. Crisis averted, I make my way into Neuroworx where I melt them a giant puddle of water from all the snow I caught on my chair and go on with my day.

This story really isn't that dramatic. It's totally possible that I just needed one more push to make it over the hump. That the friction of the wheels had melted away the trouble spot. Or I pushed the controls at just the right power to navigate through. Plus, even if I was stuck, I wasn't, because I could have called Neuroworx and had some of the therapists push me out of there. It would have taken longer and been embarrassing, but I've been through worse.

While those alternatives to how I got up the ramp are possible, I can't dismiss the whole experience with one of those explanations. It's very likely that one of those things happened though, because in my experience that's often how God works. Miracles aren't always dramatic alterations of what we think are possible. Oftentimes they're just chance being directed in our favor. And yes, I could have been fine calling over and being rescued. But isn't it nice sometimes, rather than having to take the effort and strain of solving a problem, to have your Father step in and fix it? This was one of those moments for me, and they happen in all of our lives...we just have to look and recognize them.

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