Riding a Tram as Spiritual Practice

Posted by Kevin Kusunoki on

I like to ride the tram. Not because it’s cheap, efficient or relaxing. Quite the contrary, I never seem to find a seat and it takes almost an hour to get from Quarry Bay to Central during rush hour. I like to ride the tram though because it forces me to slow down.

There is an epidemic of busyness in Hong Kong. Every minute must be utilised to the fullest degree because time is precious. Time is the only finite resource, which means that it cannot be earned back in any way. So we try to maximise it by scheduling our calendars down to the very minute.

When I arrived in Hong Kong a few months ago, a friend gave me a very peculiar piece of advice. He told me, “ride the tram whenever you can, you won’t regret it, bro.” So I took his advice to heart and I began riding the tram every day. In the beginning, I was quite annoyed at how much time I had to make for myself to commute to work because a 10-minute commute turned into a 30-minute commute. However as I diligently committed to slowing down my commute, I found that I was unintentionally eliminating haste from my life.

Desire without knowledge is not good - how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” - Proverbs 19:2

Hastiness means to do something so quickly that it leads to mistakes. We often live our entire lives with hastiness, and we end up missing God. This proverb also insinuates that the root of our hastiness comes from our desires; desires which have not been combined with knowledge. These are our impulsive desires, things that we really want from the spur of the moment.

The thing is, many of us live our lives for what is immediately in view: the next deadline, the next promotion, the next vacation, etc. In so doing we cultivate a life of extreme busyness and emptiness because we never give ourselves the time to think through the big picture of our lives and what God actually wants for us. So I intentionally eliminate hurry in my life by taking the slowest possible commute. Doing so has freed me from the constant rat race of busyness and has allowed me to hear God’s voice better.

So my challenge to you is this: take the tram.


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