The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
We’re now a week into the World Cup finals, and I have to say that they’re growing on me! All this noise, colour, passion and determination; the hope, the effort, the intent……….. I really didn’t think humans had it in them!
It’s a shame that there aren’t teams of parrots representing countries like Costa Rica, Brazil and, (of course!), - Senegal. Mind you, parrot goalies could be a bit of a liability. They’d probably spend most of their time perched on the crossbars, preening their feathers or gnawing the posts. Never mind shot-stopping…….. And parrots could bring a new meaning to the term “professional foul.” Race past a defender, and you may well get one of your prized tail feathers plucked out in the process! Just imagine, by the end of the tournament, all of the best parrots would be half-naked! And what would happen if there were Love Birds on opposing teams? Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination, but I don’t think much football would get played. So maybe it should all be left to the humans after all.
You know, these World Cup matches are like a microcosm of human life. You witness “the haves” taking on “the have nots.” The bigger, stronger, more powerful nations pitched against the poorer, weaker teams like Iceland, Iran and Panama. It’s David verses Goliath all over again!
You witness both justice and injustice on the pitch. Sometimes teams get what they deserve, and sometimes they don’t, despite all of the graft, sweat and toil that they’ve put into the match. On occasions, cheating pays, maybe because that central figure of human justice, - the referee, - gets a decision wrong. It was a clear dive, but the referee still gave the penalty!
And hopefully, there are also some exemplary matches played in a good spirit, and ending up with handshakes and back-slapping all round. Maybe because the losing team knows that it’s done itself proud. They put in a good performance, but couldn’t quite get over the line. Perhaps because of a fluke, or bad luck, or simply because the opponents were better on the day.
Does all this sound familiar? I mean in Life rather than simply on the football pitch? Is the human world kinder to some people than to others? Is hard graft and toil always rewarded in the workplace? Is your relationship with your wife or husband or closest friend always played out with smiles, and handshakes and good feelings? How many times have you felt that “Fate” has stormed into your life and taken away what you really deserved?
The problem is that both football and Life are imperfect worlds. Neither delivers the same justice, fairness, kindness and perfection that awaits us in Heaven. And Jesus frequently reminds us of this fact. In Luke, chapter 6, verses 20-21/23, Jesus looks at His disciples and says:
“Blessed are you, who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh………….
…..Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.”
Jesus preached these words to a very large crowd that had assembled from all over the Holy Land. And Jesus could so easily deliver the same message today in Russia, to the assembled masses drawn from every corner of the globe. In this life, as in the World Cup Finals, there will be winners and losers. The privileged and the disadvantaged. The powerful and the weak. Those who play by the rules and those who try to cheat. That’s the way it is. But in God’s world, there is complete equality, fairness, justice and respect. And every time we watch and enjoy another match on the television, or watch a match live at one of the venues in Russia, we need to keep that thought at the forefront of our minds. Not to brag if we win. Not to cry if we lose. Just enjoy it for the sake of enjoyment, whatever happens, knowing that all will be well in time to come!