One of the most enjoyable and memorable periods of my childhood was living in Russia for a number of years. Yes, Russia! Now this wasn’t the Russia of today. This was back when Russia was still called The Soviet Union.
How in the world did you end up in Russia, you may wonder? Well, my dad was heading up the Liaison Office for a Russian-built Steel Company in Nigeria and so the family got to come along. How exciting!
The first thing that struck us on our arrival in Moscow that winter in 1985 was of course the extreme cold. I mean it was free—eee—eee—zing! Think about it – we had just arrived from boiling, hot Nigeria. So, it was a case of one extreme to the other. Everywhere and everything was snowed over. It was white everywhere! There everyone was walking around in their furry coats, boots and hats.
You didn’t need to spend too long in Moscow to notice something else which was very normal to the regular Muscovite man or woman, but which was quite strange to a new arrival…and that is the long queues! Oh we had to wait in long queues for hours on end for the most basic of things – bread, coats – you name it. You see, certain products would only be available at certain shops and during certain times of the year. You needed to be extremely vigilant through friends and neighbours to know when what you needed had arrived at the shops. Then it was a quick dash to the shops to queue for hours on end to buy them. If you were unlucky the items could have run out by the time it came to your turn!
Long lines are also something you can experience everywhere in the world - long queues for concert tickets; movie premieres or long lines of children to see Santa Claus.
The thing about long queues is that it reveals certain things about what’s important to those lined up. You couldn’t find me waiting in line to get tickets for a boxing match, for example. But for some, it would be the event of a life time. The difference? Well for me I have no interest therefore it’s not important to me.
At Christmas time, we celebrate the birth of the most important person who ever lived – Jesus Christ. However, if Jesus came to a shopping centre today, I doubt there would be a long line of people waiting to meet Him.
If only people could see that Jesus is actually what they need. He is life – eternal life, as a matter of fact. Everyone would love Eternal life! But people are sitting in spiritual darkness and so can’t see this about Jesus.
If everyone could see Jesus for who He really is then I’m quite sure there would be a very, very long line of people of all ages, races and backgrounds lining up to see Jesus.