Coco Calling: No.11 - Anyone for Tennis?
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
Sitting on my perch here, I feel totally spoilt for choice. What shall I watch on TV? More World Cup Football, or the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships? Decisions. Decisions!
Well, I do find tennis entertaining. I like watching the umpires pretending to be parrots by climbing up onto the highest perch available. And when the action starts, I watch the heads of all the humans in the crowd turning left, then right. Left then right. All because they’ve finished up with their eyes on the front of their faces. Parrots can just keep looking straight ahead all the time because our eyes are set on the side of our heads. So it’s much less arduous if you’re a spectating parrot!
Photograph: Le DL/Sylvain MUSCIO
Every so often, the camera focuses on somebody with a punnet of strawberries. My favourite! But I don’t eat the fruit. No, I use my beak to delicately pick off all of the seeds, devouring them one by one, before throwing the middle bit away. Delicious!
But there’s still another reason why I enjoy the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships over other sporting events. And the reason lies in that word “sporting.” Because the Centre Court crowds at Wimbledon always like to support an underdog. The player that’s not as good as their opponent. The player that’s standing out there on the court as an absolute “no-hoper.” So that when they actually win a point, or even a game, the crowd cheer and applaud as though they’ve just won the championship. So that, for me, makes Wimbledon very special. And I often think how much better this world would be if we could only encourage and support the underdogs in all walks of life……..
You see, it’s all too easy for humans to want to align themselves with winners and champions. To be best friends with the “big boss” at work or to rub shoulders with so-called celebrities. Or to “support” the football team that’s most likely to win the league.
Humans like to associate themselves with success because it somehow makes them feel more of a winner in life themselves. And that’s why, for me, the Centre Court crowd at Wimbledon is so refreshingly different.
During His time here upon Earth, Jesus didn’t simply “cheer” for the winners and success stories of this world. He spent most of His time helping and supporting the underdogs of human society. The rough sleepers; the hungry; the poor; the sick; the bereaved; the ladies of the night, not to mention the despised and often crooked tax collectors. These were the people that Jesus focused on because they desperately needed His help and support.
When humans only seek to align themselves with winners, champions and successful celebrities to give their own egos a boost, who are they really kidding? Why are they choosing to ignore all of the need which exists around them? Are they simply blinding themselves to reality, and shrinking away from any responsibility of helping those struggling in society?
Paul tells us in Romans 12:8 that we should use whatever gifts we have to help others rather than ourselves. So that if a person is good at encouraging others, “...then let him encourage.” Acts 20:35 tells us that: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And Jesus goes further, in Luke 12:33-34, telling people to: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail.”
So supporting the underdog on the Centre Court at Wimbledon is just the start of it all. Who else will you meet today who would really appreciate your support and encouragement,
- your kindness and your love?