It seemed like just another beautiful summer Sunday morning. I awoke with the sun streaming through our bedroom window.

I slowly sat up and then I noticed it: virtually my entire body was covered in red welts.

My dress code for sleeping during the warm weather might be characterized as "minimal" so I discovered the rash was practically everywhere.

I awoke my wife, Joy, who was equally as shocked; her skin, however, was untouched by the rash.

"Did you eat anything unusual yesterday?" she asked me.

I couldn't think of anything out of the ordinary. In fact, our Saturday menu had been really quite average - no exotic shellfish, no steaks made from wild boar. We got up and wandered around the house looking for the answer.

We eventually arrived in the laundry room; Joy picked up a newly opened bottle of "No Name" fabric softener.

"What's this?" she asked.

The previous day I had volunteered to do some shopping and had selected "No Name" as an economical alternative to the more expensive brands.

I had also loaded the washing machine and had added plenty of the new fabric softener.

We determined that this was the cause of my unpleasant-looking red skin: immediately we tossed it out and later returned to the bottle with the little teddy bear on the label for our family laundry.

But - what's with the "No Name" brand anyway?

I don't mean to pick on "No Name" just because its fabric softener tormented me and ignored my wife.

"No Name" is the ultimate in generic marketing: no personality, no cachet, no image: just a variety of products at a very reasonable price.

Can anyone experience any sense of pride labouring at a plant that manufactures "No Name" margarine, for example? What about the shipper who busily loads a truck with boxes of "No Name" ketchup?

All people, I believe, are "wired" for recognition, to be acknowledged and appreciated.

We need to have a purpose in life, a reason for being on Earth. In fact, during the time of Stalin, many political prisoners would be ordered to dig a ditch - often through permafrost - which they would immediately fill in, over and over again.

These prisoners would eventually become totally demoralized having accomplished such a meaningless task.

While much of our life can be mundane -shopping, commuting, paying the bills, cooking meals, and doing the laundry (with brand-name fabric softener, of course) - we still long for a motive for our lives, something to be passionate about.

The Bible says, "I [Jesus] have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly."

It also alerts us to his presence when we trust in him: "I am with you always, even to the end of the world."

Christ, who was perfect, accepted death on a cross to take away your sins once and for all, and he rose from the dead, proving the power of God - and he lives today!

Perhaps you are familiar with John 3:16, the best-known Bible verse: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Why not call on him today?

Last updated Mar. 25th, 2009 at 11:13am by Simon Gibson