Sitting on the balcony, most of the time I find it very easy to filter out the sounds of the motorway and the construction of the new housing.
The garden of Mark house is not just woodpeckers, foxes, deer, and the occasional nocturnal badger! At present, there is a constant backdrop of pile-driving with a rhythmic thudding and clanking, second by second, lasting 20 minutes or more. There is a brief lull as the pile driver moves to fresh ground and then it starts up again - incessant and relentless.
It is so easy to focus on this as interfering with, or ruining, my opportunity to sit quietly and journal. But this time I made the decision to use it as an aid - looking for the blessing in it. Pile-driving involves the securing of firm and reliable foundations; it requires hard labour, persistence and sweat. As you may imagine I was swiftly drawn to Jesus words at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 7 and asked myself about my own spiritual foundations. Are they strong and deep enough to resist the storm? This feels like a question all of us should pose ourselves every now and again.