Pause for orientation  (First published in the Euro Weekly News on 21st February 2019)


Still working on our new home, with the latest task being to fit the weather vane to the apex of the garage roof.  Sounds easy, but it has to be absolutely plumb and of course it must be oriented the right way.  It had taken quite a battering with high winds at our previous home, so needed some straightening and greasing as well.  Considerable work was also required to create good fixings, re-making the holding brackets to ensure it was fully secure, and ready to be fitted. 


Euro weeklyBut of course things rarely go exactly as planned.  However accurately I measured and marked the fixing points, the drill seemed to have a mind of its own, frequently kicking to one side; and why would I presume the Garage wall to be vertical?  And having eventually got the mast absolutely plumb, there was then the problem of reaching it to position the compass points and arrow(an eagle chasing a rabbit in our case) as the Garage roof was of light construction and not to be walked on. 

And working to overcome the various difficulties, I wondered if God sometimes looks on us in similar vein.  The storms of life frequently give us quite a battering, leaving us requiring a bit of straightening out.  How often we, like my drill, “kick” to one side, following our own ways rather than God’s.  And how far we can stray from being plumb, or true!  And yes, I guess we all have a tendency at times to be unreachable, and like my garage roof, object to being “walked on”, which can leave us a bit uncertain of direction. 


So, for any of us who recognise these symptoms, perhaps it’s time we paused a while to allow God to re-orientate and straighten us out. St Paul, in his letter to the Church at Colossae suggested they should spend their time thinking of positive and eternal things rather than negative or Earthly passions like anger, malice, slander, foul language and lies and instead clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and love. Sounds like a pretty good way of reorienting ourselves to me! 


Duncan Burr is Licensed Lay Reader for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Costa Almeria and Costa Cálida (further detail available at and may be contacted at