Each day, my owner gives me a pot of clean water. He has to throw the old water out onto the back lawn because it’s too messy to pour down the kitchen sink. You see, my problem is that I like to make ‘Parrot Soup.’ I pick up various bits and pieces from around my cage and then drop them into my water pot. Yesterday I created a mixture of banana chips, chillies, seed husks and floating feathers. It was great fun at the time, but later on I became thirsty. And by that time, the fresh, clean, pure water that I depend upon every day had become contaminated. It had all kinds of squidgy globules floating around in it. Other larger pieces had sunk to the bottom. And if it wasn’t for the fact that my owner changes my water every day, I would probably end up becoming very ill.
A Ghanaian Pastor called Jerry Panou recently made an interesting comment in an online sermon. He said:
“We’re what we are today because of how we’ve lived our lives in the past………If others are doing well today, it is largely because of the good decisions they themselves took in the past or because of certain good decisions their parents took on their behalf.” (Pastor Jerry Panou: Disciple Nations Church: Accra, Ghana).
A lot of this is true because we all have the opportunity to make certain choices every day. That’s all part of the free will we’ve been given. But “good” choices need to be informed choices; without a sound education to fall back on, and the benefit of some life experience, it can be very hard for us to get it right all of the time. I have no excuse for spoiling my water pot because I know exactly what I’m doing, yet I still do it. And I think that Marilyn Monroe would have sympathised with me:
“This life is what you make of it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth.” (Marilyn Monroe: 1926-1962: American actress, model and singer).
My water pot is rather like a symbol of how we are before God and Jesus. For They offer us purity, cleanliness and spiritual water when we are thirsty. And virtually every day, we contaminate what we’ve been given. This is how it’s always been since those early days in the Garden of Eden as the Bible likes to remind us:
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
“There is not a righteous man on earthwho does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes: 7:20)
This is the reason why Jesus’ relationship with all humanity (and parrots!) is so special. Because when He came to Earth, Jesus waded straight in to the heart of the human mess. The Son of God chose to be born inside a cattle shed rather than some plush hotel or palace. And He went on to spend so much time with the down and outs of society. The sinners, the prostitutes, the dishonest taxmen and so many others. Jesus came to Earth to free us from every kind of sin; to purify and restore; to bathe our wretchedness in love.
“God answers the mess of life with one word: Grace.” (Max Lucado: 1955-present: American author and evangelist).
“The cross is proof of both the immense love of God and the profound wickedness of sin.”(John MacArthur: 1939-present: American author and Pastor).
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” (St. Augustine: 354-430: Bishop of Hippo).
So I may have made a complete mess of my water pot on more occasions than I care to admit. But deep down amidst the husks, the globules, the detritus and the gunge, the pot is still full of God’s love towards me. Even though I’ve spoilt what was originally pure and clean. So instead of bowing my head in shame, I ‘m bowing it in prayer to say “Thank you Lord. Thank you for never giving up on me!”