During their recent holiday on the Isles of Scilly, my owner and his wife visited the local museum. The exhibits included items from ships which had been wrecked around the islands, some stuffed birds and an impressive Iron Age sword. On the way out, there was a Visitor’s Book in which someone had written:
“Your museum has some interesting artefacts but hardly any of them are as old as my mum!”
Now, it’s a fact in life that when we’re young, we can feel invincible. We’ve got our whole lifetime ahead of us; we’re at our physical peak; old age and arthritis belong to a totally distant world. So much so that we can even make fun of those who are that little bit older than ourselves.
Growing older serves as a “wake-up” call, helping to dispel the myth that we’re fully in control of our lives. Wise parrots know that we will always depend upon the same Creator for both our first and final breaths and for our very existence in between. We can’t stop the way in which we physically age (although some humans do their best to disguise it!)
So is growing older something that parrots and humans should all fear? Is it all about aches and pains, wrinkles and sags, weakness and frailty? Will I eventually lose all of my beautiful feathers and be unable to do my zippy flying around the house? That could well be. But the thought doesn’t bother me because I know that as I lose one thing, I’ll gain another. Hopefully I’ll become wiser, less hasty and more understanding of the world around me. And all the while, unseen and hidden from view, I’ll be growing in a spiritual sense. I’ll be quietly evolving inside so as to be ready for Heaven. And that means that the nearer I get to Heaven, the happier I should be!
“How body, from spirit, slowly does unwind, until we are pure spirit at the end.”
(Theodore Roethke: 1908-1963: American poet)
“Age is not all decay; it is the ripening, the swelling of the fresh life within, that withers and bursts the husk.”
(George Macdonald: 1824-1905: Scottish novelist, poet and Christian minister)
“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long-life bring understanding?” (Job 12:12)
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”