Yesterday, our pastor shared the apparently true story of Chirpy the parakeet. Chirpy is the stuff with which legends are made.
Chirpy the Parakeet
A lonely woman bought Chirpy, and he brought song and beauty into her life. One day, while vacuuming, she thought, “Chirpy’s cage is dirty. I think I’ll vacuum it.”
Then the phone rang. As she reached for the phone, she inadvertently lifted the vacuum hose, and it sucked Chirpy inside, all the way down the tube and into the bag.
The woman tore open the bag and dug and dug till finally she found Chirpy! Alive, but a mess! So she jammed him under a faucet and ran water all over him. But then he was wet, so she turned a blow dryer on him!
Surviving, but Not Thriving
A reported asked later, “How’s Chirpy doing?”
The woman said, “Well, he doesn’t sing anymore! He just sits on his perch and stares straight ahead.”
Sucked in, washed up, and blown over!? That's enough to steal the song from even the stoutest heart!
Can you relate? Has life sucked you into a black hole and sucked the song out of your soul? Are you stunned, sitting, and staring? Surviving but not thriving?
Who Puts the Song in Your Soul?
Our pastor shared Chirpy’s story as an introduction to a message on Ephesians 5:18-20.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Work your way backwards in this paragraph to learn how to move from just surviving to thriving.
We’re told to always give thanks for everything to God the Father.
We’re further told to sing and make music in our hearts.
We’re further told to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
These words are written by Paul, for whom this was not pie-in-the-sky dribble but real life reality—he could sing while jailed, sing while persecuted, sing while deserted by everyone.
By the way, this does not mean in Paul’s life, or in ours, that we can’t feel and express the pain. For this same Paul said:
“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8-9).
From Surviving to Thriving
How did Paul, how can we, sing when the vacuum cleaner of life seeks to vacuum out our joy?
Let’s keep tracking our way back through the passages.
“Be filled with the Spirit.“
In self alone, at best we survive. In self alone, in our hearts we feel the sentence of death, we despair of life, when life puts us under great pressure far beyond our own ability to endure.
But as we cling to, depend upon, and are filled with the Spirit, we learn not to rely upon ourselves but to rely upon God who raises the dead. It is God our Father through the Holy Spirit who resurrects the song in our soul, who empowers us to move from surviving to thriving.
Join the Conversation
Is life trying to suck the life out of you? Will you merely survive in your own power or will you find God’s power to thrive and sing through dependence upon the Holy Spirit?