The surface makes everything appear normal. Lights on the Ginza are burning as bright as ever. The Tokyo radio tower stands tall and firm against the sky, lit up a night for all to see and admire. People are as chatty, bright, and courteous as they always are. Drive in from the airport and you would easily assume that life is good! “But they don’t know about all the skeletons in her closet.” (Proverbs 9.18)
Under the surface, things are not well. Individuals are losing their jobs at a rate faster than any time since the war. Personal assets are worth a fraction of yesterday’s values. Debt failures continue to climb. When one begins to explore the challenges of today and tomorrow, one seems to find more despair than hope, problems than opportunity, and looming obstacles instead of opportunities. Someone needs to do something!
It is obvious to an outsider that Japan is crying out for radical change. The debate centers on how much, how quickly, and how deep. I do not believe that everyone on the street shares this sentiment.
I sit and wonder. Is there anything that I see and observe about Japan that is not true about me? I would like to believe that everything is good. My outside demeanor is the same as ever. I work on dressing appropriately smart. I enjoy being with people regardless. It would be easy for one looking on to assume that my life is good! However, to paraphrase, “they don’t know about all the skeletons in my closet.”
The answer in both situations is the same. We need radical change from the inside to the outside, from the middle to the end, from the toes to the ends of the hairs on our head. Everything about me requires constant and continual improvement. The foundation is there, but everything is rotten. The willingness is apparent, but no strength can come from within.
Japan continues to debate what steps to take and why. I know the answer in my life; complete and total surrender to God, now!