As my room mate and I stepped out of the metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia, it was as if someone had pushed pause. There was one significant difference: traffic stood still, but time didn't. The clock was ticking. At 8:50 a.m. you could almost feel the collective blood pressure rising. People were late for work, late for school, late for appointments. People on trams had paid their fare, but weren't getting their ruble's worth!
Was there any significance in this grand inconvenience? Could anything be worth this pain?
With the global economy in crisis, she was thankful for the job, but at the moment, she was feeling even more thankful for her break. She was a cashier at the mega-mart, Carousel. It was aptly named as her days were an endless routine of enduring her grumpy, unappreciative manager and children who were cranky and screaming for candy. She wondered why grocery checkout lines bring out the worst in children? She used to like children!
Even though the break was short, she knew exactly how to spend each moment. She was going across the street to enjoy the silence of a walk in the woods. The woods were beautiful, snow covered, magical. She could actually hear herself think there. She could take a little time to dream about what she really wanted to do with her life. Would her dreams ever come true? What was the purpose of life anyway?
She stepped out into the street and into eternity. While impatient drivers leaned on their horns and tapped on their steering wheels as they watched the clock tick the minutes into hours, her clock stopped. She never knew what hit her. What hit her? A wreckless, speeding driver with no thought other than his own invincibility suddenly ended her dreams.
What was the meaning of her life? Can there be meaning in his? Who decides?
Is the meaning getting to work on time?
Fast cars and fun toys?
We live in a physical world and all of these things have meaning, but not ultimate meaning. If you are like me, you can easily slip into the mindset that life is about navigating your way through the daily routine of inconveniences. The truth is that ultimate meaning can only be found when we look beyond ourselves, beyond the scenery.
God created you with a purpose. Your purpose is to know Him, to respond to Him. His whisper can be heard even in the midst of honking horns and crying children.
"I love you. I sent my Son to die for you. I can give you purpose and meaning to life. Hope is only found in me."
Cheryl is on staff with Cru where she currently serves with digital strategies and in launching a new ministry among Millennials in cities across the country. For 12 years she called Russia home as she helped give national leadership to the campus ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
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