God Sees Our Lives in Their Totality

Article excerpt

One of the aspects of my work to which I have become accustomed is travel by air.

When I was a bishop on the Prairies I traveled a great deal (in a diocese the size of Britain) but it was all by car. When I became primate I took to the air.

And while I am accustomed to it, I never cease to marvel at it.

When I spend seven hours flying across the Atlantic I think of my grandmother and four small children who spent more than two weeks one February a century ago on a ship, dodging icebergs.

I have twice had the experience of driving beside the salt water of the Atlantic shore early in the morning and along the salt water of the Pacific before noon the same day.

So, in spite of the increasing tiresomeness of some aspects of air travel (longer waits in airports, less legroom), I still marvel at what it provides.

And I always try to get a seat by the window, even though a recent trip to Hong Kong produced nothing to see but clouds and the typhoon in which we landed.

And what I see often gives me cause for thought, and for gratitude for more than simply the speed with which I get about.

For example, I recently flew east across Saskatchewan following the Trans-Canada highway from Regina to the Manitoba border, a route I have driven more times than I can count, though not for 16 years.

And I discovered that from the air I could distinguish every town and village, and remember their names, including a couple of tiny places where even the grain elevator has been pulled down.

Even better, I could think of people in each town who were part of my life years ago, and that process was helped by the reality of seeing it all from above. …