Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chilean Miners and the Gift of Life

I love happy endings. I love it when a plan comes together. I love the fact that all of the miners who were trapped in a mine in Chile were able to be rescued alive and well. I read a post in the New York Times this morning that shared what a number of the miners were planning to do now that they were rescued.

And the whole experience has gotten me thinking. What would I have been thinking about if I were trapped underground for several weeks, and with the distinct possibility that I might die underground? What would you think about for that matter?

I think I would find myself thinking about the people I love. I would be prayerful for a reunion with them, and for an opportunity to hold them and tell them I love them just one more time. I would be trying to make the most out of a really difficult situation, and caring as best as I could for the folks around me. At least I'd like to think that's what I would be setting my mind and my heart on. And, beyond that I would probably be doing everything that I knew that would maximize my chances, and the chances of my peers, for survival. And, in the back of my mind, I imagine there would be periods where I would wonder about what I would do differently if I had another opportunity on the surface again.

I can't help but imagine that after emerging from an experience like these men faced one would live life with an even greater clarity, intentionality, and purpose than ever before. Life is an incredibly precious gift, and I imagine these men are experiencing every moment in a way that is filled with gratitude as well as a sense of presence in the moment that is saturated with a heightened awareness of the value of each second of the life they have been given. As I read through the New York Times article, it seemed like these men were committed to making some changes after their experience.

Life is an incredibly precious gift. Your own life is a remarkable treasure that God has given the world, and you have a wonderful opportunity with the life you have been given. You can love others. You can be an instrument of healing. You can commit yourself to making a difference in this world.

You may not have been trapped underground with uncertainty about your emergence, but the reality is that your days as well as mine have a limit. May we each and all make the most of the time we have been given on this earth and approach our days with a hopeful and purposeful intensity to savor every moment we have been given on this earth.

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