Lingalonga -- By Elizabeth Price

Among the beautiful parrots that come to feed at our feeding table is a flock of Mountain Lawries. Their colouring is mainly deep crimson and rich blue so they provide particular pleasure as they chat to each other around the food bowl.

One day we noticed that one of them lingered longer around the feeding table than any of the others so we named him 'Lingalonga'.

Then we noticed why his behaviour was different. He had a dreadfully distorted and crooked beak. It had grown very long and he had to hold his head sideways as he dipped into the seed bowl to get the seed to a place in his beak where he could chew it. He took longer to feed than his companions and sometimes he would pick seed up in his claw and put it well to the back of his beak.

He accepted his special needs and learned to cope with his deformity.

There is a monumental statement in Scripture saying that you and I have the same problem. We have an abnormality and sadly, it is a deformity of our heart. In an older translation, we are told 'the heart is, above all things, deceitful and desperately wicked' (Jeremiah 17:9) so clearly, my heart could lead me into all sorts of trouble.

I can learn to cope with it only by feeding myself another way so instead of feeding everything through my heart I have learned to feed through my mind.

Paul said it is a new attitude. 'Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds,' Ephesians 4:22,23. He became my 'claws' for picking up things that were hard to swallow and putting them into my mind where I could digest them.

And Isaiah prays the blessing, 'You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you,' 26:3.

Let Paul be your 'claws' and let Isaiah pray the blessing over your thoughts as you lingalonga to feed each day.

By Just a Minute team writer Elizabeth Price. You can contact Elizabeth direct at