ABOUT ten years ago, a close friend and his family moved across the country because they felt they needed ``a change. But they found that not much had really changed in their lives. The transformation they really needed was within their own hearts.
In the Bible the heart is an important symbol: what we really care about is found in the heart. What's in our heart determines what we are and what we give our lives to. It is here, in the spiritual affections and aspirations the heart symbolizes, that the Bible says the love of God roots and grows. In Romans, the Apostle Paul says, ``The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us'' (5:5).
The ``love of God'' is already flooding our hearts. We want to be sure that nothing keeps us from responding to this love. We must be willing--even eager--to change so that our hearts are ready to receive God's love.
The Bible tells us directly, God is Love itself. I remember my son-- then barely a toddler--looking up at me one day. There was a look on his face that could only be described as pure adoration. Where had such a pure love come from? It had to have come from God Himself. My son's response reminded me of that feeling of total care and safety and well-being that is ultimately God-given.
Christ Jesus is the purest example of such heaven-sent love. Because of his unique origin, he understood God and man as they actually exist: Spirit and its spiritual creation. And he healed with authority on the basis of seeing and hearing and knowing what God's love is to man. The inspiration of all that Jesus said and did remains and will never fade. After he had risen from the tomb, he joined two of his followers as they walked along the road to a nearby town, Emmaus. In their grief over Jesus' crucif ixion, they didn't at first recognize him. But as he talked with them, something wonderful happened within them. The spiritual power of his teaching again touched and awakened their lives. ``Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?'' they asked themselves later (Luke 24:32).
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, speaks in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures of how this incident repeats itself in all ages. She says, ``The divine Spirit, which identified Jesus thus centuries ago, has spoken through the inspired Word and will speak through it in every age and clime. It is revealed to the receptive heart, and is again seen casting out evil and healing the sick'' (p. 46).
``The receptive heart'' always focuses more on what God is doing than on personal desires and expectations. God is doing wonderful things in the life of man. He is manis our-- Father-Mother, loving and infinite Spirit. He holds all in His love. And He is able to provide for man under any circumstance.
When we feel something is missing in our lives, it is this radical change of heart that we most need in order to be receptive to God's goodness. That ``receptive heart'' sees what God is already doing and responds to it.
This changed heart enables us to see the blessings right before us. If there are changes needed in our outward lives, this renewed heart will understand and act on God's guidance, and we will know just what to do, where to go.
Isn't this the change that's really needed?