Exotic Creatures – Look, See, Pray

Can you image the faces of the first Europeans to discover parrots, macaws and cockatoos? Gaudy exotic dancers in the treetops, boisterous and loud- and then someone found out they can mimic our speech! Most of our native birds seem drab by comparison.

104Woburn0812 macaw crop2

What amazing creatures, brilliantly coloured and quite intelligent. Parrots were kept as companions to royalty and the wealthy in Asia and Africa. According to the historians,  Alexander the Great conquered India and took ring-necked parrots back home to Greece in 327 B.C., and Henry VIII had a pet African Grey parrot.

147Woburn0812 cockatoo crop

These photos were taken at Woburn Safari Park, where the birds enchant visitors with flying displays and clever performances.

I started looking at these pictures because it’s been cold and grey today. Something cheerful and bright seemed appropriate.

They sparked a chain of thought about the generous extravagance of God.  So much variety- so many things that are bright and beautiful.

Many things are beyond our control. One power we all have is the ability to choose what we focus on. In turn, that will influence our attitude. If we focus on the good, the beautiful, the pure- we will transform our lives. Not by some act of “positive thinking” or self-delusion: but because we will be practising the presence of God with us.  Paul the Apostle wrote about this to Christians facing  challenges of many kinds. Paul writes about the value of prayer, the power of rejoicing, and the gift of a special “Deep Peace” that is ours when our lives are focused on God’s Love and Majesty. As the old hymn says: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

May I suggest we take 10 minutes to switch our attention onto God who made such a lovely world- complete with stunning macaws in glorious technicolour.

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

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