Chilean Miners – What Matters in Your Life?

Robert V. Taylor

Robert V. Taylor

The story of the Chilean miners is breathtaking.  A global community joined in rooting, praying and hoping for their safety.  In this emotionally charged story, many of us asked, “What would I have done in their shoes?”  Their story invites our reflection on how we respond to the curves of life.

The thirty-three miners and their families each faced the ultimate question of what matters in our lives.  They did not have the luxury of reflecting on that question – they lived it. In the great wisdom traditions insight comes from experience and is later theorized, turned into a philosophy or teaching.  That is usually true for you and me.

I cannot know the experience of the miners or their families because I have not lived their experience but I can imagine walking in their shoes and I can empathize.  Their story fills me with hope.  The unexpected curves of life invite you to intuitively draw on the grounding of your life.

What does your life look like?  In life changing moments your life flashes before you like a high speed inventory.  Beyond all of the busyness your significant relationships remind you of those you feel at one with, those with whom you feel enlivened, those with whom there is a mutual nurturing of the spirit. It is a wakeup call about whom and what brings you fully alive. 

What inner resources do you turn to? In the curves or crises thrown your way, the values and spiritual truths that shape you come into stark relief.  Your life is not a solitary one.  Love, hope, compassion and courage are not abstract truths.  They keep reappearing inviting you to new depths of discovery.  The Universe or the Holy reminds you of the wisdom traditions alive in you, ready to be drawn on.

How do you stay centered? When you’re thrown off balance fear and anxiety kick in wanting to have their way with you. But this is not the only truth of your life!  You have practices to be centered about who you are.  Yoga, meditative walking, a labyrinth, prayer, mindfulness, meditation, prayer beads or exercise may be among them.  Negative energy wants you to be rattled but the good energy invites you to return to your centering with yourself, the Holy and life.

Who do you trust? The miners had to trust one another.  In the hairpin curves of life you and I are invited to trust and cultivate our intuition. It is part of our spiritual DNA.  Those whom you trust with your heart or life may not always be the obvious suspects.  Some of those closest to you may be unsettled or threatened when your intuition leads you to choices bringing you alive in new ways.  Be awake to those who appreciate your well-being.  Be aware that hairpin curves usually invite to become more fully alive.

Who and what do you love?  Your deepest values reappear on the surface.  “Remember me!” they seem to say reminding you of your sense of purpose and meaning.  They invite you to listen to your heart because what matters most in your life is who and what you love.  As your life flashes before you it expresses urgency about putting your energy into whom and what you love.

Active Hope.  Hope sustains us.  It is an active way of being.  It orients your actions and decisions toward doing those things which are important to the core of who you are. Your own hope joins with the hope of others as you work for what is life-giving and life-changing.

The Chilean mine workers and their families are a story of life-affirming courage.  One of their gifts to the rest of us is the reminder of what matters most profoundly in your life.  Crises or hairpin curves shift our lives.  The question is always how you chose to respond to them.

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One Comment

  1. Robert, this was a well written column and so timely. This was indeed God’s miracle. We must continue to pray for the miners because as days pass the stress of what happened will catch up to them. We must hope for their continued courage, and optimism. I underscore courage and optimism for those are the two words we must all follow in God’s grace and wisdom in building peaceful communities here at home and across the globe

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