Coco Calling No.149 - Digesting the Bible
My human owner often likes to read and inwardly digest his Bible. I’m very similar except that I like to gnaw my Bible first before doing the digestion bit. You could say that we are both Biblical scholars in our own particular way.
The Bible is full of wisdom, and one of my favourite passages is the story of Noah and the great flood. It doesn’t mention very much about parrots being on board the ark, but I have no doubt they were there somewhere. And it’s a story which offers us all some very sound advice. Advice such as:
· Don’t miss the boat.
· Remember, we’re all in the same boat together.
· Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah started to build the ark!
· Stay fit. When you’re sixty years old, someone may ask you to do something really important!
Although there is a lot of truth in what I’ve listed here, I’m actually made these points a bit tongue in beak. Because there’s a much deeper message in the story of Noah’s Ark, -the message of listening to God. It’s a message which transcends all generations and which is as relevant today as it was back in Noah’s time. Noah had a strong faith and made sure that he was listening when God spoke to him. We are told that “Noah was a righteous man” (Genesis6:9a) and that he “… did everything just as God commanded.” (Genesis 6:22). He allowed himself to be used for God’s purpose. And because of that, Noah and his family survived and prospered while so many others were washed away. You could also describe Noah as the worlds very first conservationist. He ensured the survival of many species which would otherwise have perished in the flood.
Image credit: Pixabay
A great many humans dismiss Biblical stories as being nothing more than stories. The journalist and broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge once held this viewpoint. He started out as a complete atheist. But in 1967, his work took him to India where he interviewed Mother Teresa for the B.B.C. And it proved to be an experience that would change his life forever. Because he unexpectedly found God in Mother Teresa’s presence, and he then went on to write a book about her called “Something Beautiful for God.” Malcom Muggeridge, the former atheist, suddenly came to realise that the God he had once dismissed was a living presence wanting to communicate with anyone willing to listen.
“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” (Malcolm Muggeridge).
This also applies to Biblical stories. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, Joseph and his coat of many colours, -all of these stories contain messages from God. They are parables though which God speaks to us.
The problem for humans is that the busier they make their lives, the less time they have to be receptive to God’s messages. The word “listen” contains exactly the same group of letters as the word “silent.” We all need regular times of quiet to allow God to speak to us. Through stories just like Noah’s Ark, through unhurried prayer and through the things we experience as we pass through life…
“God speaks in the silence of the heart.” (Mother Teresa).
“Obeying God is listening to God, having an open heart to follow the path that God points out to us.” (Pope Francis).
“The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that they say ‘Amen’ and run away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving Him our ideas.” (Frank Laubach).
“He who belongs to God hears what God says.” (John 8:47).