I was thoroughly impressed by how the Chilean government led the efforts, in a very calculated and orchestrated manner, to not only rescue the miners, but to maintain them alive while they were in the belly of the earth.
What was more captivating, though, was how strikingly similar their story was to my story.
You see, many years ago I was buried alive - I was dead in my sins. Like the miners, I could not dig my way out. It was Jesus who, like the capsule, had to come down to me, take me in, and transport me out. And while these similarities where readily seen by many watching this story unfold, what caught my attention was not the drilling of the mine to reach them. What caught my attention was what was going on down inside the mine.
Worried that the miners might despair due to their reality (namely, that they were buried alive and could very well die there if they couldn't get them out), a team of professionals was assembled to help and guide the miners to deal with their new reality. What does one do when sitting in the middle of the earth doing nothing? One thinks, thinks of things past and present - was there a future? What does one think when one is 2,300 ft below the surface of the earth and not able to get out, but to depend on an outsider to get you out? It is totally understandable why the miners where told to get busy, get a routine, get entertainment, get on a schedule. They were told to divide their living quarters by areas: sleeping, eating, praying, exercise, entertainment. They were told to follow the schedule and the activities that had been planned. All these were efforts to reduce the impact of the trauma.
What I find similar to my story is that I too would try to entertain myself and get myself on a routine in order to avoid the obvious - I was dead in my sins. I would entertain myself (or be entertained) to not feel the emptiness, pain, sorrow, and fear. But that which I was doing to 'keep me alive' was the very thing keeping me dead. These activities became distractions that kept me from facing the reality that I was in: Pain, sorrow, fear and emptiness. Therefore, I did not see the need for Jesus (or capsule) to get me out. By His grace, my eyes moved away from these distractions and I saw the Capsule, got in, and was transported out of the mine.
The story does not end there, after being taken out of the mine, instead of doing what the miners are doing (traveling around the world telling their story of survival), I decided to continue with the activities that entertained me when I was in the mine. Why?......So while I was in the mine I entertained myself to, unknowingly, keep me dead; now I would entertain myself to keep me slumbering. Again, by His grace, my eyes were opened to this truth: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Did Christ die for us so that we can have a nice life? Did He die for us so that we have a good family, husband, wife, children, friends, career, etc.? If we are to be like Christ, and Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, why are we not acting like Jesus? The answer: Because I am more concerned about the activities that cater to my life and this, in effect, sends me into slumber. While I slumber away, people who are hurting, suffering, needing Christ's love and the gospel, continue to hurt, suffer, need the love of Christ and the gospel.
I find that being born again is more than a nice story - it is a life altering event. Like being taken out of the cave of death and brought to the light of life. Why continue chasing after the wind of ideals that worldly wisdom offers? Why continue chasing after holograms? My new reality is outside the cave, there is no need to entertain myself to death - I must now actively seek to not entertain myself to slumber, lest I slip into a coma and ignore the cries of pain and agony of people around me.
Are you slumbering? Or are you in the mine?