As I stood at the bus stop this morning, one of my favorite cartoons came to mind.
The old physicist stands before his chalk board. To the left we see the usual maze of mathematical formula, intended to baffle, impress and identify. To the right is written " = " followed by the eureka answer to the equations, punctuated with exclamation marks.
In the center of the chalk board, between the proof and the pudding, there resides a large cloud on which has been written, "Miracle Occurs Here"
And it occured to me that the unexplained result is not always a "miracle"
I was diagnosed with adult onset, type II diabetes in October of 1998. I was working at Microsoft at the time, consuming huge quantities of processed sugar, and was not all that surprised at the diagnosis. I had often joked with one of the suppliers of our sweet addiction that they must hold stock in a pharmacutical company that supplies insulin ...trying to drum up some more customers. I had to be especially tactful when this person became aware of my diagnosis...
Working with my doctor, I established a new diet for myself and over the course of the next six weeks, reduced my weight and brought my blood sugar levels back into an acceptable range. Through all the changes and stresses of the years since then, I have managed to avoid taking any sort of medication for the control of my diabetes; I have lost control from time to time but have always been able to reassert myself and regain some stability.
Within the last six (6) weeks, this has all changed. My blood sugar levels have risen to all time highs for me, and I have been unable to reduce them despite a strict diet, increased exercise levels and maintained weight loss. I began suffering from problems "caused" by diabetes, as opposed to just having the problem of being diabetic. These high sugar levels and their physical manifestations could not be ignored and on Monday, I returned to my doctor for an examination... and an explanation of the non-responsiveness of my internal mechanisms, to known effective controls.
The explanation given, in best medicalese was... "Something Happened"
Certainly a metabolic change, with no real notion of what exactly it was. Only an "equation" and a "result" with that mysterious area in which "something happened."
And thus the difference between those results which pleasantly surprise us, and those results which are less than pleasantly surprising. The first is a miracle, the last is, something happened.
I am now on a medication regimen to control my blood sugar levels. The oral medicine prescribed, effects the way the cell responds to insulin, rather than causing the pancreas to produce more. This treatment is one I agree with, because I still hope for that future in which miracles still exist.
Who knows? Something could happen any day now...