The shock that August day sent shockwaves around the world. Miners were trapped in Chili. No one could have guessed that they would be trapped for 69 days. No one knew how many would survive. In October 2010, 33 Chilean miners were rescued alive! The world cheered, but as the world went to sleep that night, many began to think about the life lessons they could learn. They wondered if they would have survived if they had been a miner. They pondered the feeling of being trapped themselves, and the longing for rescue. They pondered these things because many Americans feel that they are trapped. Some people feel trapped by life situations. Some people feel trapped in their own minds. There is a great craving for wisdom of how to apply what we have seen to our own lives.
Here are the top ten life lessons we can learn from the Chilean Miners Rescue.
Lesson Number One: Sometimes we are trapped by our own choices.
Most miners are aware of the dangers of their career in mining, but still choose it. There are times in life when the risk is worth the benefit. There are times in life when the risk is not worth the benefit. If you feel trapped by life, take a look at the choices you have made in life. If you make different choices, you will have a different life path.
Lesson Number Two: Sometimes we are trapped by the choices of others.
We would love to be able to control every detail of our lives, but it is just not possible. You can make all of the right choices for yourself and your family, but then the unexpected happens. These miners had to mine where the boss told them to mine. It was not their choice to be at that place at that time. It is not logical to allow yourself to be stressed over the choices that you have no control over. Choose instead to use your energy to think of creative solutions when the unexpected happens. If you feel like choices are being made in your life that you have no control over, begin to think of creative solutions.
Lesson Number Three: As far as it depends on you, be at peace with everyone.
We cannot control others, but we can choose to be at peace with the people in our lives. The miners did not know what would happen at work on that August day. They did not know that an unresolved argument would stay unresolved for months. They had a lot of time to think about their last conversation. The families had a lot of time to think about those final comments on the day the miners went to the mines. As the miners sat trapped, they had new relationships with the other miners. There was a tremendous need for peace among the trapped miners. Sometimes your survival depends on your willingness to be at peace with others in your life. Sometimes the survival plays out in real life, and sometimes it is mental. Choose to be at peace with God, and at peace with others around you, at all times. You do not know what today may bring.
Lesson Number Four: Sometimes you get another chance.
There is never a guarantee that you will get a second chance, but sometimes you do. 33 miners got another chance. If you are trapped by life right now, there is still hope. Choose a different life path today, and you can have another chance to make better choices in life.
Lesson Number Five: You can choose to give up, but that choice affects more lives than just your own.
No one will force you to continue on in life. Choosing to live is your own choice. You can fight for life, or you can let the circumstances of life destroy you. For many of the miners, the choice to give up would have affected many people above ground. Most of the time, your choices affect more lives than just your own.
Lesson Number Six: You can choose to take life to the next level.
Many comments have been made about how well groomed the miners were when they were rescued. They chose to keep going. Some chose to lose weight, because their rescue depended on it. Some chose to engage in physical exercise despite their cramped quarters. You can choose to take your own life to the next level. You can travel to the next place. You can conquer your mental prisons. You can learn new skills. You can accept new challenges. You do not have to be the person you used to be. Many have said that these miners will never be the same again. Choose to do something new with your life.
Lesson Number Seven: Patience is rewarded.
In the miners story, we see many different seasons. They had to have patience in waiting several hours for the dust to settle. They could not assess their situation, until they could see clearly what had happened. They had to have patience in the first week as food was handed out. They had to have patience as they waited for communication to be established. They had to have patience as they waited for the hole to be dug and the rescue effort to begin. They had to wait patiently as the miners were rescued one at a time. They had to be patient during their medical exams. All of these waits were important. They did not understand why at the time. If your life is in transition, it is likely that you will have to be patient while the details fall into place. It will be worth it. Just wait patiently. Your time will come.
Lesson Number Eight: Servant leaders are the most respected.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has been heralded above many world leaders, simply because of his servant heart. His willingness to invest his time and show his heart touched the world. Foreman Luis Urzua was the last miner rescued. He said he chose to lead by allowing the people to have a voice in the decisions. If you want to be a respected leader, choose to serve those under your leadership. These are the leaders people remember and herald.
Lesson Number Nine: Express gratitude.
Something magical happens in a moment of gratitude. It is a moment where people realize that they could not do it alone. It is a moment where people herald the accomplishments of others. It is a moment where people thank the God who created them and allowed them to experience life. There are movies and shows and sermons about the importance of being thankful. Lack of gratitude will affect your life in many ways. Choosing to be thankful for what you have is such a simple choice, but it has profound ramifications. We saw many moments of gratitude in the miners story that touched us at a very intense level.
Lesson Number Ten: It’s is very healing when you allow yourself to show emotion.
In this professional world, many people are taught that they must live life robotically. Many do not let life touch them. The miners story showed us many emotions, and we craved more. Reunited families were not afraid to cry in the emotion of the moment. Miners who felt joy were not afraid to yell or chant or sing. Hands were raised allowing people to give themselves fully to this moment in life. When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel? Don’t you crave the moments where you can truly express your joy without fear of mockery? The world likes to mock intense emotions. Some of the media has even mocked the miners display of emotion, but for those of us watching, we cried and cheered with them! We loved tweeting and facebooking our emotions right along with them! We got to experience life at a very real and very intense level, and we loved it. Make the choice today to allow yourself to be human again. Let yourself feel emotions. Let yourself cry. Let yourself rejoice. Sing at the top of your lungs. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Google this topic, and you will find that it is very healing to experience life on a real level.
There are many more life lessons in the miners story if you take the time to think about it. Allow yourself to pause your life for a moment, and take hold of a new life lesson that will change your life forever.