Highlighting the needy, with Anthony Bernard.

My Smartphone has been upgraded and is now trying to steer me; my 16 year old iPhone only did what I asked! Epilepsy is when part of the brain grabs all the power, leaving other parts starved. Artificial intelligence steers news and social media based on previous personal choices, restricting other news and creating a form of community epilepsy. Poor Nicola Bulley had all the attention during a time, on average, when a hundred others would have gone missing. We need to treat the whole world in a balanced way.

Ash Wednesday, last week, marks the start of 40 days of reflection in the Christian calendar. Moslem Ramadan starts on 23rd March, Hindus celebrate Holi on 8th March, marking the triumph of good over evil. Spring is the time of year when most faiths reflect on what we do and how well we are doing it. Of course Australia is having autumn, but their sun rotates the other way!

Many readers may share my belief in the Creator God, who made "all things visible and invisible", the whole planet and everyone on it. Christian belief in a loving God leads to a conviction that everyone worldwide has the chance to recognise and honour the creator, even if only from observing mountains, rivers and plains as did early American tribes. So a spring period of reflection should not surprise us whatever our belief.

There is no point in worrying about things beyond our reach. Earthquakes, Ukraine, the Government and Trade Unions deserve attention, but we cannot do much about them. An American may say "I'm up to my rear in alligators"; the full text is "when up to your rear in alligators, it is hard to remember you really came to drain the swamp."

A personal disaster such as electricity being cut off could be called an alligator, catastrophic if not dealt with. Getting finances into balance can be likened to draining the swamp; once accomplished there will no more power cuts or alligators. When reacting to an immediate crisis, long term issues need attention as well.

This is a time to put both spiritual and physical needs into perspective,. Too many may still have a cash shortfall, but fortunately there are people with enough surplus to support food banks and other charities, including the earthquake disaster. It was ever thus throughout history. The difference today is that we have had a very long period of plenty and sufficiency; this cost of living crisis comes as a shock.

Farmers are pressing to use pest control which is damaging to bees, but these are vital to pollinate flowers into fruit. Pesticides aren't needed on roses because blue tits happily chew insects. Wolves were reintroduced into the Yellowstone National Park to stop deer wiping out trees. The whole of nature is a delicate balance which we upset at our peril.

Families and neighbourhoods also have mutually dependent parts that need to work in harmony, local shops and supermarkets, traffic flow and parking, choices in family budgeting. Corned beef sandwiches were suggested at Christmas! Similar changes need consideration in this cost of living crisis.

We should act with thought for our neighbours and ourselves under the watchful eye of God's Heavenly Host, or the "planetary spirit" if you prefer!

Few of us can do much globally, but we are each of us a local part of a worldwide whole.