Friday, January 27, 2006

Thoughts from sub-surface Tokyo




Hurtling through the innards of Tokyo’s underground in the speeding flesh capsule that is Japan’s subway system, I have this thought: Traveling is not so much about finding answers as it is asking questions. And hopefully those questions will lead to answers, but the key is you have to be willing to ask them. Here on this train, everybody retreats into the recesses of their minds, sort of a hibernation mode, partially to ignore the fact that if they looked up they would have their nose in the crotch of some Japanese salaryman who is about to implode from the pressure of thousands of pounds of human flesh pressing in on him from every angle. (If you havent caught on yet the Japanes subways are very crowded). So I took the opportunity to think about how traveling effects my life and what experiences seem to be common no matter where in the world I am. I identified a common cycle that seems to occur when I travel.

Phase 1: Wonder at new undiscovered beauty, struggle to understand on more than a surface level, stretching of my faith due to new questions and perspectives I never considered, lots of questions

Phase 2: Sadness for the lost, Sadness for my lack of faith, Sadness at my ignorance and predjudice, in a word: conviction

Phase 3: more clarity, appreciation and grattitude for my faith, confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture in any culture.

Phase 4: an almost overwhelming desire to share the Gospel with the lost

Phase 5 (I hate this one): return home, often become apathetic,

Thankfully Phase 5 doesnt have to be a given.

I don't know if this post has benefitted anyone but myself, but it felt good to sit down and think through these things. Anyone else have any thoughts about traveling?

By His grace, for His glory

jrf

1 comment:

jeremy said...

dude, i almost crapped my pants laughing. But, after considering your thoughts, i would have to say: time to get a job.