Saturday, February 10, 2018

Miracles That Might Not Be Miracles

Speaking of miracles, I would like to blog about what happened in my least session of D&D. The session started with our group in a bit of a pickle. One of our characters, a ranger called Kettle, had gotten himself locked up for breaking one of the more serious rules on the pirate ship our characters had been forced to work on. It seemed likely that he was to be keelhauled (killed brutally) within the next few days. We didn't have that kind of time.

Our escape plan involved helping the pirates take over a merchant ship, then take the merchant ship from the pirates. The only hard part was going to be making sure our entire crew got onto the new ship, especially when one of our party members were locked up at the time the merchant ship came into view. We had only a few hours to get him free without anyone finding out about it, a practically impossible task, and we had no plan. Naturally, we failed to come up with any way to get Kettle released in time. Thankfully, Captain Harrigan decided to release Kettle so he could help in the fight against the merchants. And during the fight, Kettle had an opportunity to protect Captain Harrigan from a sneak attack, so, by the time the fight was over, the Captain seemed to have completely forgotten that he was supposed to punish Kettle for something.

And the pirate captain's life-saving change of heart wasn't the only miracle our characters saw that day. At one point in the fight, a great explosion rocked the ship, threatening to throw us off our feet, but all our characters made their Dexterity Saves and remained standing while almost all of the merchants we were fighting lost their balance and fell prone, putting them at a great disadvantage. It was improbable that all of us would succeed that balance check and almost all of our opponents would fail, so my character considered that something of a miracle as well. But the greatest "miracle" of the battle was something only my character saw.

As he was fighting on the main deck in the middle of a magically conjured fog, he occasionally saw a tentacle reach out, grab one of the merchants he was fighting, and throw him overboard. My character was sure the man-tossing octopus would try to grab him as well, but it never did. It only grabbed and tossed those he was fighting. What my character didn't know at the time, and still doesn't know at this point in the story, was that this octopus was summoned by another player whose character has been hiding his magical powers and items this whole time. My character assumed, and still thinks, that the octopus was sent by a god. My character now intends to find out which god has been helping them so he can give him or her or it his thanks.

But no god, fictional or otherwise, had a hand in any of that. The release of Kettle was basically just a way for the DM to get the group back together before the battle started. The explosion was a scripted combat event in which all of our characters simply got lucky. And the octopus, as already mentioned, was summoned by a player, not a god. Still, that's not going to stop my character from considering these three situations as evidence of divine favor and acting accordingly.

Life is full of events that can be thought of as convenient coincidences or mere good fortune, and perhaps some, or even many, of them are. But it couldn't hurt to occasionally give credit where it isn't necessarily due. If you experience good fortune, thank God for the miracle. If you succeed at something through your own good planning and hard work, thank God for the miracle. It may not actually have been a miracle, and there may, in fact, be no real reason to thank God, but I figure that it couldn't hurt to thank Him anyway. He may decide that, since you're so thankful for the "miracles" you receive, He should offer you a few real miracles to be thankful for. In any case, thanking God for the miracles that might not be miracles will at least help you draw closer to God, and that's an end unto itself. So, thank God for the miracles in your life, even the ones that aren't really miracles at all.

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