One of the amazing things about moving out to Blacktown just over 12 months ago is the bird life around the manse in which I live. We are located adjacent to a wildlife corridor that runs all the way to Seven Hills and its home to magpies, kookaburras, noisy miners, willie wagtails, rosellas, lorikeets, crested pigeons, plovers and the occasional ibis.

All this happens within a stone’s-throw of a major four-lane arterial road, the massive construction of an adjoining public hospital and the proliferation of cranes assigned to the task of erecting more and more high-rise.

Some suggest Sydney is losing its soul as major developments take control of our suburbs. A recent Sydney Morning Herald article claims people are leaving this city in droves in search of a better lifestyle, less pressure getting to and from work, and more affordability as house prices go through the roof.

Perhaps we can’t stop progress but some relief to what appears to be the madness of modern-day urban life would be welcome. Congestion around our suburbs means daily routines are dictated to by traffic conditions. Blue gum clusters and lush backyards are disappearing to the encroachment of concrete and steel. The noise of heavy vehicles blots out the serenity of what was once a garden suburb.

Jesus reminds us that this is not how it’s all meant to be. There is more to life, much more than getting bigger, becoming more prosperous and running ourselves into the ground.

“Look at the birds of the air” says Jesus. “They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

Jesus calls on us to look to God for our needs, for our sustenance and for our reason for being. The birds in my backyard are an affirmation of this. They go about their daily lives unhindered by the frenzy happening around them.

If God provides for their needs, how much more will God provide for us?

Rev John Barr