Keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 1:21 NRSV)

Arne Nilsen, mayor of Sund, Norway, proposed a resolution at a town council meeting. This resolution banned crankiness and required residents to have a positive attitude and be happy. Those with good reason to be sad, such as a broken heart, would be excused.

Well, Arne may be on to something. A positive attitude can certainly be a big help in life, but if you think positive thinking by itself is enough to get to the core of your problems and your pain, you are in for a rude awakening. You cannot think your way to a new life. Regardless of what the self-help books say, you cannot affirm yourself into becoming a truly new person.

During the height of the "computer arranged dating" craze, there was a newspaper article about an enterprising fellow who had patented a pocket-sized device which he called "The Love Bug." It works like the beepers that doctors carry: you program it with the kind of person you are and the kind of mate you're seeking; whenever you get within range of someone whose Love Bug program matches your specifications - at a party, a singles place, or a supermarket - the two beepers go off and... VOILA! Instant, scientifically certified compatibility.

I don't know what happened to those beepers but I do know that God has placed a spiritual beeper within each of us and our lives will never have the power or the purposefulness that they might have until we are in the presence of the One who can activate that inner beeper. Change is possible, but it only comes through a person-the person of Jesus Christ.

Dear God, continue to change me to share your love more deeply. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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