This I Believe

Alex - Riverdale, Georgia
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am not a religious person. I don’t consider myself Christian because while I subscribe to the Bible figuratively, it seems a prerequisite to believe the stories literally. Despite my misgivings, I feel compelled to do what the black church calls ‘testify’. When I was younger I thought only people who beat drugs, disease or death testified. Only the gung-ho, bible-totin’, stompin’ on your feet Christians told everyone around them about the miracles of God. But here I am with a story to tell.

It was last semester senior year. I spent most of my weekend in the computer lab working on a 35-page research paper that was worth 30% of my grade and due on Monday. I worked on the paper day and night for several days. On the last day, I went to look for the disk where my paper was saved and it was gone. Unalarmed, I went to the lab, where I was sure I left it, and to my horror, the disk was not there either. I spent an hour and a half searching the lab, my car, I even went back home hoping I would find it under a heap of yellow Wall Street Journals. No such luck. I went into a panic attack. Hyperventilating and crying, I was sure my professor would not buy this dog-ate-my-homework type of excuse. I would fail the class and ultimately not graduate. I thought of every possible scenario all the way to the part where my mother, embarrassed and disappointed, would call our family and friends to tell them that I was not graduating college, cancel the trip to North Carolina. I could barely think of what to do.

I told my professor and he was more understanding than I expected. Now, here is my miracle. I checked my email and at the top of the list was a message with the subject: Your disk!!!!. Some Samaritan found my disk in the lab, got my email address from a resume on the disk and emailed me with their name and number so I could pick it up. My paper was saved! I finished it with the extra time my professor allowed and I did graduate college.

I believe that miracles are relative. Somebody finding my disk may not sound like much but in that moment where I thought my future and my family’s trust were at stake; this sure did feel like God’s mercy. I believe I choose how I perceive my life and its events. I choose to believe in something or nothing, God or luck, faith or folly. I choose to find greatness in small things and miracles in silliness. So no, I may not call myself Christian, or own a bible or attend a church and no the heavens didn’t open and God’s voice didn’t bellow some universal truth in James Earl Jones’ voice, Mary’s face didn’t appear in my grilled cheese sandwich, and my life was not in jeopardy, but this was my miracle and a miracle is a miracle. This I believe.