There are two ways to live life. One is to live as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is to live as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein
I wrote this on my bike trip, when taking a break after riding through The Valley of the Gods.
It's funny how even amidst such glorious views, such magnificent splendor, the slightest thing can move one's spirit from awe and wonder to irritation and arrogance. I found myself standing at the top of the valley admiring the view, enjoying the beauty of this valley that truly was touched by God. Never before had I seen anything like it - a valley littered with structures that only God could have imagined and created. And yet the smallest thing was able to steal my attention and irritate me. I wonder if that is half the problem with human nature. We are too easily distracted.
I'm reminded of Gladiator:
"Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom, and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, but the sand of the Colosseum."
Obviously there are two types of magic - good and bad. The good kind takes our attention away from the mundane, and enraptures us with visions of grandeur and images of greatness, all the splendor and majesty heaven has to offer. The bad kind immobilizes us, and makes us unable to focus, unable to maintain our steady gaze on the goal, the prize laid before us.
Perhaps the difference lies in the ability to meditate, to know thyself. Perhaps the secret between the type of magic that we are affected by is directly related to how well we know ourselves. A better understanding of oneself must inevitably include an understanding of one's faults and weaknesses, as well as one's strengths. In understanding one's shortcomings, one can better equip and prepare for the things that will throw us off course.
So, prayer and meditation huh. Maybe that's why the saints of old could lead such disciplined and obedient lives - prayer and meditation were integral aspects of their day. Lets follow their example and do the same!