“Are we nearly there yet?” You set off in the car to go on holiday two hundred miles away and, after ten miles – or maybe even just one mile – a voice pipes up from the back seat, and your heart sinks. How often will the question be asked over the next few hours…?

If you were travelling from New York to Sydney, the reply could be, “In nineteen hours’ time.” That was the non-stop achievement of an aircraft yesterday, setting a precedent for future travel.

In the 19th century it could take four months to go by ship from the UK to Australia; a fast clipper might take two months. After the second world war many people migrated to Australia and the ship’s voyage was the first stage of the adventure and might have taken about five weeks with stopovers in various places en route. The England cricket team travelled by ship to Australia in the mid-20th century. Several weeks before a ball was bowled. Now, in our instant age, we expect travel to be quick, efficient and as easy as possible. We always want to cut times, whether on a journey, in a running race or in something as technological as the speed of our laptops. It was Albert Einstein who said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

I woke this morning and thanked God for the gift of a new day. I don’t know how much time I might have on planet earth. My journey from earth to heaven will be instant when it happens. Preparation for that journey is more important than any journey I make on earth. Do you give as much time to think about that as you do preparing for your next car, train or plane journey?


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