THE BIRD THAT FINALLY TALKED
(from the Northside News; Meridian, MS)
There is an old story about a fellow who lived alone and went to a
pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the bird might fill some of his
lonely hours. The very next day, however, he came back to complain,
"That bird doesn't talk."
The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man
said he didn't. "Oh, parrots love mirrors," he explained. "When he sees
his reflection in the mirror he'll start talking away." So he sold him
a birdcage mirror.
The bird owner was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still
hadn't said a word. "That's very peculiar," allowed the pet expert.
"How about a swing? Birds love little swings and a happy parrot is a
talkative parrot." So the man bought a swing, took it home and
installed it in the cage.
But he was back the next day with the same story. "Does he have a
ladder to climb?" the salesman asked. "That just has to be the problem.
Once he has a ladder he'll probably talk your ear off!" So the fellow
bought a ladder.
The man was back in the pet store when it opened the next day. From
the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. "Didn't your
parrot like the ladder?," he asked. His repeat customer looked up and
said, "The parrot died."
"I'm so sorry," the stunned businessman said. "Did he ever say
anything?" "Well, yes, he finally talked just before he died. In a weak
little voice he asked, 'Don't they sell bird seed at that pet store?'"
Some have mistakenly thought that happiness consists of lining our
cages with toys, gadgets, and other stuff. Excessive consumption has
become the hallmark of American life. "Whoever has the most toys wins"
seems to be the likely candidate to be the bumper sticker for an entire
culture. But is it so?
There is a spiritual hunger in the human heart that can't be
satisfied by seeing one's own image reflected back in vanity mirrors,
playing with our grown-up toys, or climbing the corporate ladder. Our
hearts need real nourishment.
The love of family and friends, relationships over the pursuit of
more things, personal integrity, a secure connection to God - these are
the things that feed the soul. Have you chosen a life course that leads
to a destination that matters?
Jesus told us this in His Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are those
who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Mt.
5:6). He knew that our souls could never be satisfied with anything
less than eternity.
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