The taxi driver is right. That is exactly what it is about
As I leave the airport premises a man makes me an amazingly cheap offer. So I can embark on my 25km journey to our Guest House and we will be able to talk for a while, since it will be stop-start through the Peruvian Capital for at least an hour.
“What do you think of President Martín Vizcarra?” I ask my driver. This is definitely a good start to what could turn out to be an interesting conversation. “To be honest, I cannot give two hoots. I do not care about politicians. They come and they go. I focus on my work and my family!“ His answer was delivered with so much force that I look at the mid-thirty-year-old astounded. “And furthermore,” he continues, “I am trying to find meaning for my life!”
I have only just met him, but my driver has expressed what it is all about. We all want to figure out why we are here and why we exist. Conscientiously we go about our day to day lives working hard in order to be full members of society. I totally understand his focus on the family. We all live relationships and give and receive: love, affirmation, encouragement and comfort.
But what deeper sense lies hidden in our 70 or 80 years? A time that always ends with a wistful parting.
A few minutes later I speak about God, but I know that the man on the street has zero interest in a theological education. I am answered with great skepticism after I speak about the dimension of eternal life, of a relationship with God that can start here and now. We are making no progress whatsoever.
Suddenly I say “Do you know what, I will tell you a story!” And now the time just flies. Traffic jams and red traffic lights do not play a role anymore. The streets change like stage backdrops to a play. We hardly notice how the time is flying. We have reached our destination, but I have not yet finished all of what I want to say. The taxi driver is concentrating on what I say, not missing a single word. The unexplainable coincidences that we encountered while founding Diospi Suyana can only really have one explanation: there is someone who hears us and sees us, someone who loves us. And the collection of experiences over decades encourages us to pray, that means to reckon with God and to trust in him.
We shake hands and our eyes meet. “Buy yourself a modern Bible translation and start each day with a prayer!” I open the door and from one second to the next I am no longer a passenger, but a pedestrian on Lima’s streets. One of the millions who, like the taxi-driver, needs a reason to breathe and to hope.
It is a long day at companies, meeting CEOs, talks and negotiations. As so often, a lot of money is being talked about. But, all things considered, none of these meetings is as important as my 60 minute taxi ride: talking heart to heart with a father of three children. A man like you and me, searching for the meaning of life.
Who promised to fulfill our inner thirst for life once and for all? – The man on the cross. /KDJ