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The Wonder of Flight

June 8, 2012

The Jubilee weekend may be over of the Jubilee year continues. For me the long weekend finished a little early. 3.30am on Tuesday to be precise, it was then that I started out for Luxembourg, a quick meeting then home for 11pm. It was a tiring day but I did get to fly.

I love flying. I feel like a small child again. Strapped in my seat watching the world whiz past as the small jet accelerates; the push back into the seat and the ground disappears.  I’m fascinated by the tapestry of the land beneath me. The matchbox houses and fields, woods and waterways. Then there are the clouds, they were white and low broken cumulus clouds on Tuesday.

I know we fly all the time. But when you think about it, it is an amazing thing to be able to lift off from the ground, and fly into the air. For most of human existence it was thought an impossible day dream. Now it is a mundane event.

The night before my trip I was watching the McGregor brothers talk through the events of the Battle of Britain, it was powerful and emotional to hear the accounts of the heroism and loss. It was also uplifting, pardon the pun, to see the two brothers flying in a spitfire. Such a beautiful plane, but, it was the personal excitement, the broad grins, the joy that those flights gave those brothers that made it so wonderful for me.

So much has happened in our world is such a short time. We can now drive a hundred, two hundred or more miles, just for a holiday or to visit friends. We can hop over ‘the Pond’ to America.  We can communicate with people on the other side of the world as easily as with people in the next town. And we can buy even fresh goods from the four corners of the earth. We are living in an age transformed by technology. But we don’t seem any happier. We communicate but we don’t seem thrilled with what technology can do for us. We take it for granted, and only notice when it doesn’t work, or is a little slow!

If I am not careful I am like small children, a spoiled small child, with lots of things, lots of toys and distractions, but appreciation of nothing. I need to be like a child once again. Not the spoiled child that I so easily become, but a child experiencing the world for the first time.  The sort of child I was once, and I suspect that you were to, the sort of child excited at exploring the seaside, or a wood. I need to let my eyes see the wonder of the world around me, all of the time: The wonder of the technology, the wonder of each day. Each time that you and I wake to a new day is a gift from God, that has to be wonderful!

It is this wonder, this ability to be truly alive, that is part of the gift of the Spirit: The gift of being part of the Holy Trinity, the eternal creator of this world of wonder. And where are I taught to look for eternity? Right here, in each moment. Each moment, after it has moved from the future, and before it becomes the past, is a drop of God’s eternity.

In our wonder and appreciation of each moment, we are part of the living relationship that is the Trinity. The Father and the Son are in constant communication, a constant flow of love and wisdom, a constant flow of life and creation. That flow, can flow out from God by His Spirit – out to all who are open to the mind of the Spirit.

I know that I need to notice the wonder of amazing things like flying, or a beautiful day. But what I pray for is the grace to see the divine wonder in the ordinary too, even in the difficult and uncomfortable.  I pray for the grace to see the wonder of a hard plastic chair in an anonymous airport terminal. The wonder in the bland and the ordinary; The wonder too in the sad events, the losses and the partings.

I watch the clouds in fascination and dream, I wonder, but Lord help me to wonder more. Lord help me to wonder more, as they are steadily enfolded more and more in the eternity of your love.

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