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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Change

I recently came across a joke about three men who were in a strange city and had no money to pay for their meals. They came up with a creative plan which went like this: The first man entered an upscale restaurant and ordered a very expensive meal. When the meal was over, the waiter handed the check to the man who looked astonished and said, "But I already paid you." The waiter looked puzzled, but not wishing to offend the customer, apologized and took back the check.

The second man came in and the same situation occurred. Not long after, the third man walked in, ordered the most expensive items on the menu and enjoyed his meal. When the waiter brought the check, the man looked angry and said, "What's wrong with you, man? I already paid you." This time the waiter was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. He turned to his customer and said, "Sir, I don't understand what is happening. I served two other men today who said they paid me but I'm almost certain they didn't. What do you think I should do?" The customer looked at the waiter and said, "I'm sorry you've been having trouble sorting out your payments, but will you please give me my change?"

Change. The word is on everybody's lips these days, especially since the stunning victory by Barack Obama, who stirred up the hearts of the people with his mantra of change. But what does change mean? Many of us, myself included, are still putting the finishing touches to our New Year's resolutions in an effort to change our lives for the better. But in most cases, very little change will take place this year or even the next.

In the Bible we see many instances where God made changes in the lives of His people. He told Abraham to leave his hometown, Haran, and go to the land of Canaan. He caused Joseph to be sold into slavery so he could end up in Egypt and become the Prime Minister of that country. God never allowed His people to lead static, boring lives. He changed their names, addresses and ultimately their destinies.

Why, then, are we so resistant to change? Maybe it's our love for the familiar or fear of the unknown. Whatever it is, change can be scary. But in this new year, this new era, let us look to the One "who changeth not" (Malachi 3:6), the unchanging God, to help us make those changes that are necessary and resist those that may cause us trouble. Happy New Year!
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