the jet stream

Dec 13, 2023


I was chatting to a friend yesterday, an inspiring conversation, reflecting together on life and its ups and downs, remembering the importance of keeping things in perspective…

…when I noticed a jet trail far overhead.

Jet streams shift my perspective.

Most days and much of the time I am caught up in my own world, the life and times of John and the joys and drams in the intersections between my life and the lives of others.

And then I see a jet stream.

I could easily dismiss it quickly as a plane going over head, perhaps quickly examining it wondering where it’s off to.

Or I could take time…

  • to study the length and breadth of the vapour and what that tells me about the wind and warmth up there.
  • to know that in this plane there are perhaps a couple of hundred people, reading, chatting, watching movies, eating and drinking.
  • to ponder that some of these people are on their way to or from work. Some love their work, some are desperate for a new job.
  • to consider that among the travellers are those off to a celebration and some are excited about a reunion with friend or family.
  • to contemplate that there will be some who are grief-stricken at the break-down of a relationship or the death of someone they love.

I’d often think this when I’d notice a jet stream above the Chatham Islands. I might be feeling a bit down and isolated from friends and family 600 mile away in NZ…

…and then I’d notice the jet stream making a line between Aotearoa and South America and I’d think about all those travellers, their hopes and joys and griefs and anxieties. Even though they were up there and down here out for a stroll across Pitt Island paddocks our lives were intersecting…

… and very often I’d pray for the one or two on the plane who most needed it.

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Now there’s a great perspective for all weary and anxious travellers.


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  1. Love your reflection thank you. As a child, my mother always taught us to pray every time we heard police or ambulance siren. It really opened our eyes to the needs in the world around us…….where were they going? What person or family needed help? And thanks for having God in our lives at that moment!
    Arohanui ki a kotou katoa

  2. An interesting reflection I’ll notice those vapour trails now with an open mind & prayer for travellers too. There’s always a hint that I need in these daily messages Grateful thanks Fr John

  3. A new perspective is just what a need today- thank you.

    • I liked your response to todays reflections
      When I’m going for my early morning, walk down my short country road, l would say a short prayer for the driver. I used to do this for every car, but our road has got busy, so now say one short prayer for all cars travelling down this road.

  4. Fr John I too always ponder when I see a jet
    stream or watch a plane battling the nor westerlies as I live hear the
    flightpath. Took photos this week! However I praise the Lord and thank Him for the marvel of travel and for the expertise of the engineers etc but especially pray for His guidance for the pilots who take passengers to their destination. My thoughts turn to the travelling of life to the final resting place we all are all aspiring too! On Eagles
    Wings Psalm 91 is always sung .Thanks Fr once.
    again !


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