日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

【October 2018 No.399】Workplace Prayers of a Believer in his 20s


by Ono Hajime,  Mukaigawara Church, Kanagawa District

As a crew member in the metropolitan train network, I transport many lives. As I do not have many Sundays off, I cannot go to church very often, but I pray every day and give thanks to God.

I started working for a Railway Company in April three years ago, just after I graduated from university, and I am currently a crew member. My reason for choosing this job was not that I especially like trains. Rather, I felt that being part of a rail operation that routinely puts many people on trains and transports lives every day of the year would be a worthwhile job that I wanted to try.

I was baptized when I was a third-year university student, just as I was getting involved in job-hunting. I was born into a Christian home, and Christianity was always part of my life. As a small child, I grew up in the church, but when I was in elementary school I joined the local baseball club, and as I continued to be busy with baseball through junior high school and high school, I stopped being involved in church life.

When I went to Tokyo to attend university I didn’t look for a church. I wasn’t attending church anywhere, but then at my parents’ suggestion I visited one nearby. One of the members there asked me about my favorite Bible verse, and even though I had drifted away from church life, I automatically responded with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.” As a result of this, I started to think about being baptized.

This text is carved into a wooden plaque hanging in my home and is engraved in my mind. When these words left my mouth, I thought, “I am able to live as this text says. That’s because Jesus is walking with me, even when I’m not going to church.” After I was baptized, I attended church quite regularly until I started work, but once I was working, it became difficult to go. This has led to two changes in my attitude toward my faith.

The first change is that each worship service I can attend has become very important to me. For workers in the railway system, the days off in a week are not fixed. We have a system of rotating responsibilities much like shift work, which means that the days and the hours that we work are always changing. An early shift starts 4 a.m., and a late shift means working until 1 a.m. After being baptized, I felt that being involved in church life was important, so not being able to attend worship felt sinful and made me heavy-hearted. However, this means that every time I can attend, I concentrate fully on the service.

The second change is that the frequency of my prayers to God has increased because of my opportunities for direct contact with other people’s lives. I am currently working as a train conductor, so my duties include giving the signal for departure, opening and closing the doors, and making announcements in the train. In the midst of all this, I may also be involved in people’s lives.

The other day while I was working, someone bent on suicide entered a railroad crossing. Happily, that person survived without injury, but for the first time in my life, right before my eyes, I saw a person who had decided to die. I will never forget that terrified face for the rest of my life. Almost every day trains come to a halt because of a fatal accident somewhere on the line. I find it hard to think about the fact that this means not only that so many people have lost their lives but also that far more people are left grieving.

Before this happened, I already had the custom of praying, “Let me spend this day safely,” before starting work every day. There was no loss of life in this incident, but since then I have been praying not only for my own safety but for everyone else’s safety and for the safe running of the trains as well.

Of course, not every day is calm and peaceful. I make mistakes in my work, unpleasant things happen, and I encounter appalling scenes. So I often find myself tempted to think it is impossible to “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.” At such times, I look back and give thanks for the good things that have happened that day, and confess what I did wrong. Then I think of the next day, and pray that the next day will pass safely.

In the future, as I aim to become a driver and a transport manager, I want to keep on praying as I do my job. (Tr. SN)

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), May 2018 issue


20代の証し 仕事とわたし 祈りをもって運行業務に携わる

小野 創(おの はじめ)鉄道会社職員(神奈川・向河原教会員)











毎日が平穏な日というわけではありません。仕事で失敗したり、嫌なことがあったり、凄惨な場面に遭遇することがあります。「いつも喜んでいなさい。絶えず祈りなさい。どんなことにも感謝しなさい」なんて考えられるか! と思うことも多々あります。そのようなときは、その日を振り返って良かったことに感謝し、悪かったことを悔い改めています。そして、明日を思って、明日は安全に1日を過ごせますようにと祈っています。


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