Seeing the best in life's challenges

The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

The Greatest Miracle in the World, by Og Mandino, is a story of the friendship between the author and a wise old man.  It’s a rather short book, just over 100 pages.  My copy is yellowed, with red pen marks underlining the places that must have spoken to me 30 years ago.  I don’t remember how or why I got the book back then or exactly when I read it.  Reading it again today, I was amazed (ok, not really) at how consistent it is with where I am, still.

The wise man’s apartment contains stacks and stacks of books.  I love what he says about his collection:

“They are an accumulation from many years of pleasant hours in second-hand book stores.  Still they have a common theme which makes each volume very special.”


“Yes.  Each in its own way deals with and explains some aspect of the greatest miracle in the world and so I call them ‘hand of God’ books.”

“Hand of God?”

“It is difficult for me to put into words…yet I am positive that certain pieces of music, certain works of art, and certain books and plays were created, not by the composer, artist, author, or playwright but by God, and those whom we have acknowledged as the creators of these works were only the instruments employed by God to communicate with us…”

“You mean you believe that God still communicates with us as He did during the days of the ancient Jewish prophets?”

“I am positive.  For thousands of years this world witnessed a countless parade of prophets pronouncing and explaining the will of God:  Elijah, Amos, Moses, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, and all the other marvelous messengers until Jesus and Paul.  And then…no more?  I cannot believe that.  No matter how many of His prophets were ridiculed, chastised, tortured, and even murdered, I cannot conceive that God finally gave up on us and turned His back on our needs, causing some of us to finally assume that He must be dead since we hadn’t heard from Him in so long a time.  Instead, I truly believe that He has sent, to every generation, special people, talented people, brilliant people…all bearing the same message in one form or another…that every human is capable of performing the greatest miracle in the world.  And, it is man’s most grievous fault that he has not comprehended the message, blinded as he is by the trivia of each succeeding civilization.”

This is a book well worth reading.  At the end, the wise old man shares with the author the wisdom that he has gleaned from all of his reading of these great works, in the succinct form of Four Laws of Happiness and Success.

They are simple, and worth finding.