(Note: For those who may have read this blog via the Japan Team Blog, I have added a Missions Comment at the end.)
Today, we traveled from Karuizawa to Sendai on the Shinkansen, which is also known as the “Bullet Train”. The network began in 1964 in time for the Tokyo Olympics and has increased in scope over the years. The “Bullet Train” travels at a maximum speed of 200 mph.
Shinkansen literally means “new trunk line”, referring to the tracks on which it runs. The name has come to represent the train and its vast network of tracks.
As I entered and sat in my reserved seat, the first thing I noticed was the spacious leg room. I thought to myself, “Why do the seats need so much leg room, when the Japanese people are relatively short?” (Whenever I sit on sofas here my knees point upward because sofas in Japan are built so low to the ground). When we got to the end of the line in Sendai, the Shinkansen goes in the opposite direction back to Tokyo and they need the generous space between the seats so that they can turn the seats around so people are not traveling backwards.
Each car has restrooms with a sink area to wash up if necessary. A stewardess-like woman comes down the aisle with a cart filled with goodies for purchase. Each seat has a little table that can be employed just like an airplane.
As an American, riding the Shinkansen is an efficient way of traveling from one place to the next (it is always on schedule). The trick is making sure you get to the right destination (especially if you do not read or speak Japanese).
One missionary shared with us that he took the correct Shinkansen and got on one of the cars to the rear of the train. Unbeknownst to him, somewhere along the way to his destination the rear cars of the train split off at a station and went in a different direction. He ended up at the wrong destination.
The ride on the Shinkansen is really quite pleasant. It is very comfortable, very fast and right on time. Still, the most important thing is arriving at the right final destination.
It is wonderful when life is comfortable and we get from one point to the next quickly with ease and on time. But it is all for naught if we end up at the wrong final destination.
The Bible speaks of two destinations for all of humanity. It’s either a Lake of Fire (Revelation 20) or God’s Heavenly mansions (John 14).
Jesus is the Shinkansen of life. He takes us to the right final destination. When He spoke of His Father’s mansions in Heaven, He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
If our final destination is to be with our Father in Heaven, then we need to make sure we ride the right train that will get us there. Jesus is the Shinkansen to eternal life.
Something to think about…
Missions Comment: The country of Japan has been disconnected from the truth. Each time significant numbers of the Japanese people became Christians; they were persecuted and eliminated by those in power. This time, as greater numbers come to Christ (which I, by faith, believe will happen), the movement will not be eliminated unless it is by the rapture or Antichrist. Whatever work is done from this point forward will grow and remain until Jesus comes again.