Coco Calling: No. 28 - So How Much Am I Really Worth?
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
I was thinking about my possessions the other day. I don’t really own very much. Dotted around my cage are a couple of bells, a bit of wood for me to gnaw on, four perches, the remnants of a toy that I destroyed several weeks ago, water and food pots, several shed feathers plus the remnants of a succulent chilli.
And that’s it. In worldly terms, I don’t really amount to very much. But there again, neither did Jesus. He owned nothing more than the clothes upon His back and the sandals on His feet. But of course, Jesus never came to Earth to amass wealth and possessions. He was here on a mission. And He didn’t want anything to be a distraction to Him.
I’m sure that Jesus doesn’t have a problem with humans who are both fortunate and successful in life. Humans that become reasonably wealthy and own lots of possessions……….so long as these fruits of life don’t take over their entire existence. Because if they allow that to happen, they will always put their own self-interest and self-indulgence ahead of helping others. And today, that can be a really big issue for humans living in the developed world. Because they are almost “programmed” to want more and more for themselves because of the commercialized world in which they live. And for a small, simple parrot like me, sitting on my wooden perch, it’s all very bemusing.
Turn on commercial radio or television, and every 15 or 20 minutes, there are advertisements. Open up a magazine, and there are loads of glossy, enticing pages telling humans that they can’t live without this or that product. There are humans ringing up and trying to sell things over the phone. Humans come to the front door with products. Turn on the computer, and advertisements leap off the screen, or answer a text on your mobile and get sucked in to a new wave of “must have” products. The human world has all gone a bit crazy.
Human companies and businesses bombard people every day with a never-ending stream of products and services that they supposedly “have to have.” The latest clothes. Shoes “to die for.” Mobile phones boasting the latest cutting-edge technology. Outrageously delicious, burgers, pizzas, drinks, dream holidays, mattresses, solid oak furniture, sporty cars……….
Virtually every day, humans have to make multiple decisions about whether to go down the road of self-indulgence, or think about the needs of others. And it’s all a very fine balancing act. For example, in UK supermarkets, humans often have to decide about whether to treat themselves to that extra special “something,” or whether to buy an essential item that they can then put into the Food Bank Collection on their way out. And then there’s the other end of the scale. Should someone splash out on a souped-up sports car rather than a conventional model, because it will do their ego and social status no end of good? Even though the extra money spent could have paid for a hundred humans in Africa to have their eyesight restored, or two hundred humans in India to be cured of their Leprosy? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with humans treating themselves to things. Treats are important for morale and well-being. But the danger is when wealth, and possessions, and status all become addictive. So the question for humans is whether it’s important for them to always demand the biggest, the best, the shiniest, the sportiest or the most technically advanced all for themselves? Or is it more important for them to quietly give to charity and to think of others that are less fortunate than themselves because ultimately this will bring them “riches and success” in Heaven?
In Mark chapter 10, verse 25, Jesus says: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
A little while ago, I saw a piece on my owner’s TV about the Venezuelan leader, President Nicolas Maduro. He was filmed tucking in to a wildly extravagant barbeque with his family in Istanbul, Turkey, while back at home, countless thousands of his people were having to leave Venezuela to avoid starvation. Will he eventually get to Heaven, or will a camel and a needle suddenly appear from nowhere and perform an amazing stunt in front of him?
Humans can never serve two religions. They have to choose between the religion of self-indulgent wealth, status and success, and the Christian message of Jesus which focuses on the entire needs of the world. Just imagine how different the human world would be if everyone in a position of power, wealth and authority, dedicated their lives here on Earth for the benefit of others in society! How much hardship, suffering, and despair would instantly disappear from the face of the Earth? And it’s never too late to make a start.
So who’d like the remnants of my succulent chilli?