Like all parrots, I can be extremely vain. I have the irresistible urge to show the world how beautiful I am. I like to stretch out my wings, fan my tail, and dramatically pluck and pull and shuffle my feathers around, -all in the hope that somebody’s looking.
And many humans are exactly the same. In the U.K., humans spend more than 27 billion pounds per year on beauty products. Yes, 27 billion. U.K. humans must think they’re born very ugly!
And here’s another problem: as we grow older, we become less physically attractive. We start to bulge or shrink; to wrinkle or crack. And if you’re really unlucky, all four can happen at once! The writer, Barbara Cartland once said:
“After forty a woman has to choose between losing her figure or her face. My advice is to keep your face, and stay sitting down.”
Most of us want to stay young and beautiful. And there’s nothing wrong with using a spot of touch-up paint or gloss to make the best of what we’ve got. But 27 billion pounds suggests that beauty’s become an obsession. Because our physical looks and beauty are nothing more than an outward façade. Outward beauty is superficial. For real beauty comes from deep within. And it can’t be bought in packets or tubes. Real beauty is all about your heart and your soul, and it’s something that will naturally shine through any wrinkles or blemishes; through thinning hair or unwanted bulges.
None of us have been put on this planet for our external looks. Our lives are all about transformation. About moving away from the physical towards the spiritual. All in readiness for Heaven.
None of us actually know what Jesus looked like. Artists have had a stab at painting Him, but it’s always been guesswork. And yet Jesus has had a greater impact on the lives of humanity than anybody else that ever walked this Earth. We don’t remember Him for His looks, but for what came from deep within Him. His teachings; His actions; His goodness; His spirituality; His compassion and above all, His love……….
So what this really means is that the greatest beauty can come out of the oldest and most wrinkly human, or the most moth-eaten parrot.
Ultimately, our spiritual impact counts for far more than our physical one.
And yes, I know that being a parrot, I’ll always want to show off my feathers to the world. I’ll never change. But neither will I forget about what really matters: -letting the spiritual beauty that’s deep inside flow through my daily existence……..
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s spirit lives in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16)
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1Peter: 3:3-4)