The Tokaido road was the most important of the five routes that ran along the coast of Eastern Honshu, Japan. Along the Tokaido road were government sanctioned post stations for traveller's rest. These consisted of lodgings, food and horse stables. Recently, we added the board game ‘Tokaido’ to our collection. In the game, players are travellers in Japan in the days of old. They follow the prestigious Tokaido road. Each player makes their way along the route stopping at various stations collecting goods, meeting people, visiting temples and discovering panoramas. Each section of the game ends with every traveller arriving at a rest station.
In Scripture, there are many stories of people on the move. From Abraham in the book of Genesis (Ur of the Chaldeans to the Promised Land) to Paul’s missionary journey in the New Testament. Our lives are a journey from one experience to the next. Jesus was a traveller, and in the book of John His journey is recorded into this world (John 1 v 1-5). When we place our faith in Jesus for the first time, we set out on a path that leads us closer to God. A path where there are stations for:
Rest - “Come unto me, all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28)
Nourishment - “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35)
Direction - “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
Gameplay in Tokaido ends when all the travellers arrive at the final inn. It doesn’t end when the first traveller arrives. Each player must come, with all their baggage (goods, coins and experiences), rest and wait for the others to arrive. Each player’s journey matters.
There are times in our journey of faith and relationship with Jesus where we need to be mindful of others on the same journey. Each traveller carries different baggage and different experiences in their walk with the Lord. There will be times when we need to encourage and support those that are struggling and are weary and there will be times when we will need to lean on others to help us. Ultimately, we have a common goal and that is to share our faith and experiences with others so that they find Jesus and join us in the journey towards Heaven. Our journey doesn't end until we can meet with Jesus face to face.