|A Parrot Mountain tip...you can get tickets a little cheaper at their store at The Island in Pigeon Forge. It was a neat experience and the gardens really had lots of Bible verses and settings that were encouraging and inspirational. |
I recommend it!
I walked along the pathways, talking to each bird I came to, hoping to get them to talk. I enjoyed looking at beautiful peacocks and interesting birds I had never seen before.
I got to one area with about a hundred birds you could pet and feed. I fed some small birds and then moved on to the big parrots and cockatoos. One of the staff was playing with a parrot named Mimi, so I put out my hand to offer it some seed. Wham! The bird grabbed my finger in its beak.
I pulled my hand back and the staff guy kind of laughed. "When she does that, you just have to do this," and he grabbed the parrot by the head and played with it some more.
Um, no thanks, I thought. I think I'll leave Mimi alone.
I moved on to other birds and then realized my finger was actually bleeding, so I went back to the staff guy and asked for a bandaid. He cheerfully got one for me.
I did find other very nice birds I could hold that didn't try to eat me. Some of them talked and they were so sweet.
I moved on and got to feed the lories some nectar.
That was really fun.
Before all of the bird interactions, I came to a door with no markings.
I cautiously pushed it open, sure some staff person would yell at me any second. I was delighted to find a secret garden. There were mourning doves and other small birds moving around the small room full of green plants and decorations.
"Wow! I bet everyone else is missing this," I thought. "They walked right past it and I found it."
Then I saw another door. I went out and found this sign:
I felt pretty dumb.
I had missed the entrance and gone in the wrong way. It was a "Secret Garden" but it really wasn't supposed to be a secret. Everyone was meant to enjoy it. I should have been inviting others into the garden instead of being glad I had discovered it all by myself.
How often don't we do that with our faith? We marvel at what God has done for us, but we act like we don't really care to share it with others. We want to keep it all to ourselves.
Friends, we can't do that.
Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. That is so much more awesome than a cute little hidden garden. We need to take that good news and tell it to as many people as we can.
Think of that in the days ahead, and if you ever go to Parrot Mountain, watch out for Mimi.
"He said to them, 'Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.'" (Mark 4:21-22 NIV)
Do you keep your faith to yourself, like a secret garden?How can focusing on God help you to tell others what Jesus did for you so they can enjoy life with Him, too?