Definitionally, “miracles” are events not readily explicable by natural or scientifically proven laws and are considered by some to be the result of divine influence. They are unusually surprising events that are generally welcomed and considered extraordinarily amazing in the context of conventional wisdom and/or empirically based expectations.
What Do You Need For A Miracle?
The elixir of prerequisites for the manifestation of a miracle include: (1) those involved must share a genuine belief that “IT” is within THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY; (2) a shared passion and willingness to do whatever it takes to FIGHT FOR IT; and (3) an unwavering EXPECTATION (through visualization and feeling) that it will come to pass (this is metaphysics). But there is a fourth and VERY important factor, which perhaps explains why miracles are so rare — for in order to pull off a miracle, (4) there must also be exceptionally unique creative thinking and careful advanced preparation.
Here are three well-known examples, presented in reverse chronological order: (1) The Miracle On Ice; (2) The Miracle Mets; and (3) The Miraculous Rebuilding of Frankfurt.
The Miracle On Ice
In the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. Men’s Hockey team was the least experienced team competing, comprised of feisty college players cobbled together just in time for the Olympics. This team had no acknowledged stars, and since they had very little time playing together, not much was expected from them.
Although the U.S. team had performed beyond expectations during the initial rounds of Olympic play, they suddenly found themselves slated to face the mighty Russian Bear from the U.S.S.R., a well-coached team with many years playing together, and with most players on its roster in their mid-twenties, they were also playing at what was widely considered to be at their physically matured peaks. Moreover, they boasted a long legacy of overwhelming prior success — for instance, the Soviet team won nearly every world championship and Olympic competition over the preceding quarter century (i.e., since 1954). Accordingly, pre-game pundits felt the probability of Team U.S.A. surviving the impending onslaught from the Soviets was akin to “a snowball’s chance in hell”.
And yet this was much more than an Olympic hockey game. Due to a confluence of unprecedented preceding world events, the game took on dimensions of unparalleled importance and world significance. At the time, personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Iran had been taken hostage, and efforts (both military and diplomatic) to secure their release had proven fruitless. In addition, the Soviet Union had earlier invaded Afghanistan, and the U.S. efforts to turn back this incursion were also a dismal failure. President Jimmy Carter candidly spoke of a national malaise that had beset the United States, and America thus found itself at its lowest point of self-esteem. And at the time, the Berlin Wall was still very much intact, so this particular contest represented a playing out of “The Cold War on Ice”, or in other words, “communism versus democracy”.
In the now famous inspirational pre-game speech, U.S. Hockey Team Coach Herb Brooks recounted how “sick and tired he was of hearing what a great hockey team the Soviets were”, and despite his admission that the Soviets might beat them in 9 out of 10 games, “it would NOT happen tonight”. This speech is memorialized in the movie “Miracle“, where Coach Brooks (played by Kurt Russell) illustrates the four prerequisites for a miracle in the below movie clip, as follows: (1) the careful advanced planning is represented by his closing a meticulously constructed game preparation binder just prior to his speech; where (2) he points out winning is within the realm of possibility in that they might win one of ten games against the Soviets; (3) and “tonight is the night” he expects them to realize this “great moment” by going all out to fight for this “great opportunity”, “skating with them” and “shutting them down”; because (4) “this is YOUR time” to show the world that “TONIGHT we are the GREATEST hockey team in the world !”
The video clip below covers the last minute of play in the actual 1980 Olympic game with team USA up 4 – 3, and where at its conclusion, TV announcer Al Michaels exclaims his now famous rhetorical question . . .
“Do you believe in miracles?”
And it was this ragtag group of unassuming college kids and remarkably gifted and inspirational coach who embodied “David slaying Goliath” in this “miracle on ice”, and what is arguably the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.
The Miracle Mets
The New York Mets began their existence as a professional baseball team of the National League in 1962, and for their first seven seasons, they not only never had a winning record (i.e., more wins than losses), but they typically finished in 10th place (out of ten teams). In fact, during their inaugural season, they set the season record for the most losses by a professional baseball team (120). They were the “hapless Mets” and thus the butt of jokes throughout professional baseball.
But coming off their best season to date (where they finished in 9th place), something changed in 1969. Miraculously “the team that couldn’t” had transformed into “the team that did”. Under new manager Gil Hodges, the Mets had quietly pulled together a team rich in pitching talent (e.g., Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan), along with well-balanced hitting team that featured speed and aggressiveness on the base-paths, along with solid defensive fielding, rife with spectacular diving catches.
This sudden transformation from a perennial loser to a legitimate contender was not immediately apparent. In fact during the first quarter of the 1969 season, the Mets had once again posted a losing record of 18 wins and 23 losses. Yes, despite the many promising changes, they still looked like the “same ole hapless Mets”.
But then they began to gel as a team, pulling together multiple 11-game winning streaks and an impressive 82 – 39 remaining season record, as they and gained new-found confidence with each win. Instead of being at or near “the cellar” with the all-too-familiar agony of triple digit losses, they finished the 1969 regular season with a comfortable FIRST PLACE finish and 100 wins!
Although this was indeed a miraculous turn-around, the Mets still had to face the American League Champions, the Baltimore Orioles, a team which not only posted the best record in baseball, they featured ELEVEN current and future All-Stars on its roster, and THREE future Hall of Famers (Dave Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson). As a result, respected baseball pundits called for a short world series, with a consensus expectation for a sweep of the Mets.
However, after losing game 1 of the World Series (as expected), the 1969 Miracle Mets convincingly beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the next four games to finally become the Champions of Baseball. Never before and never since has there been a more unlikely champion than the 1969 New York Mets. When asked how they did it, pitcher Tom Seaver summed up their miracle turn-around as follows: “We never put our head between our legs . . . We always fought!”
The Miraculous Rebuilding of Frankfurt
During World War II, the city of Frankfurt carried special significance in that it served as the capital of Germany during the 19th century and featured the largest office building in Europe where the headquarters for Nazi wartime research was based. Therefore, due to its strategic importance, the Allied forces dropped nearly 13,000 tons of explosives in indiscriminate nighttime carpet bombings, and literally obliterated this once beautiful historic city (refer to pictures below).
When U.S. General George Patton‘s troops entered the bomb-devastated city of Frankfurt, they were astonished by the comprehensive level of destruction, and in the years that immediately followed, few thought this city would be able to “find its way back” to what it once was.
Nevertheless, the unwavering will of the German people not only resurrected this city, it has become the beacon of achievement, as the de facto banking capital of Europe, serving as the headquarters for the European Central Bank, and 229 banking institutions (half of which are foreign), as well as the 10 largest banks in Germany (e.g., Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank).
Yes, Frankfurt did indeed miraculously “find its way back”, as evidenced in the music video picture montage the author of this blog took and compiled from a business trip in October 2005.
So In Conclusion . . .
. . . after you have: (1) employed creative thinking with meticulous advanced preparation; (2) embraced this miracle as being within the realm of possibility; (3) committed to do all things necessary for its manifestation; and (4) maintained an unwavering mindset that fully EXPECTS your miracle will be realized . . . then you’ll just be Waiting For the Miracle to Come. And this is also the name of the song performed in the music video below by Leonard Cohen, whereby its lyrics and images may place you in a state of introspective reverie as you reflect on this powerful topic (despite it being a “love song”).