Friday, 26 October 2018
Do you know the story of Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet trains?
The idea of Shinkansen came about in the 1950s. In this post-war era, Tokyo was experiencing an economic boom. Many people flocked to Tokyo in search for jobs, and there was a surge in demand for railway services.
This prompted the head of the railway system to issue a challenge to his team of engineers: build faster trains. The engineers did their sums, took some measurements, and proposed the possibility of stretching the maximum train operating speed to 110km per hour.
The head, however, was not satisfied. He felt that was not good enough. Astonished, his engineers tried to explain that anything faster was not possible as the trains would surely derail when they had to make the turns around the mountains.
The head then suggested: why not build tunnels and bridges? That remark sparked the beginning of an ambitious project that gave all Japanese people something to look forward to. The engineers designed, built, experimented and tested. When it did not seem to work, they re-designed, re-built, re-experimented and re-tested.
This went on for years, until 1 October 1964, when the world’s first bullet train was finally introduced. It reached a maximum speed of 210 km per hour, almost double of what the engineers initially thought was achievable!
The head of Japan railway system was very blessed, not just because he dared to dream, but also because he had a group of people who believed in his dream. Together as a team, they made that dream come true.
Not only did the Shinkansen change the lives of the Japanese, but it also astonished the world. To tourists, Shinkansen is not just a mode of transport, but an experience in itself. To the rest of the world, it is a symbol of top-notch technology that everyone desires to learn from and follow.
Do you have a dream?
The good news is, no matter how big or small your dream may be, you can tell God about it. That is because our heavenly Father, the maker of all things, the God who created you and me, have plans for us all that allow us to dream and do good.
His message of love can be found in Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Therefore, do not be surprised if God is the one who put that dream in your thoughts, because He has it all planned out for you to do good. So, go ahead and ask Him for help. He promised that He will be near to those who call on Him. You may want to seek the counsel of your family and friends too.
Put your dream to the test. It may not be easy, you may even fail, but at least you have tried. Otherwise, it will remain a dream.
By the way, the Japanese did not stop dreaming in 1964. Today, the Shinkansen easily hits a maximum operating speed of 320km per hour. But this will take a backseat when the Maglev becomes available in a few years’ time (possibly in 2027). Maglev stands for “Magnetic Levitation”. The Maglev works on magnetic field and it floats! Shanghai already has its own version of Maglev, currently the world’s fastest commercially operating train with a top operating speed of 431km per hour. As for the Japanese, they are aiming for 600km per hour!
Dare to dream!
Abba Father, You are the maker of all things, and we praise You because each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made by You. Thank You for allowing us to have dreams, however big or small they may be. We know Your plans for us are the best. We ask You to continue to direct and guide us in the things we do and the decisions that we make. May You be in the centre of all our dreams. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
By Lee Pei Yee, Christian Ministry Staff