Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What's In A Name

I don't know if you know what your name means. Most people find out pretty young when comparing meanings with their friends. Little boys love the names that make them out to be heroic warriors who slay dragons. Little girls like names that make them out to be beautiful princesses of elegance and grace. (I'm generalizing of course. Some little boys like being made out as cunning and wise and some little girls like being made out as courageous and strong... but this is beside the point.)

When I was born my parents wanted to give me a Biblical name- because, ya know, why not? They played a little game I like to call "Baby Name Roulette: Bible Edition" or other wise known as, "Pray Before Putting Your Finger Down, Because It Could Go Either Way Here Roulette". It could have turned out pretty bad, but I'm wildly grateful for the hand I was dealt. (Look at me! I'm on a roll with these gambling puns!)

Here's how the game is played:
Find a Bible.
Open to random page in Bible.
Place finger down on random page in Bible.

"Elisha? Yeah, that sounds like a good name... never mind that it's a name for a little boy."

Actually, that last sentence didn't happen quite like that. My parents didn't know they were giving me a boy's name. But I don't mind- for a few reasons.

First- "Elisha" is a lot better than other potential names. This is strictly a personal opinion- but I'm good not being a Gomer(No offense to all you Gomer's out there... also- "Holla!" to all you Gomer's out there!)

Second- Elisha was a pretty freaking rad prophet and worked some pretty incredible miracles. He left a pretty simple and peaceful life for a higher calling from God. He did wild things, like you know, parting the Jordan and raising the dead, like healing lepers and opening eyes to the spiritual realm (read 2 Kings 6:8-23 about how ridiculous that was... and then think to yourself, "hey, I want to see like that," then think to yourself, "but I'd probably soil my skinny jeans, so I better not." ), he cursed some boys and they were mauled by she bears, and even in his death, a dead man thrown on top of him was brought back to life when falling upon his bones... so... like I said, pretty rad... and that's not even the half of it. Elisha got a double portion of God's Spirit that was given to Elijah- and that dude did outrageously wild things for the Lord.

So, yeah, Elisha is a pretty big name to try to fill the shoes of. Surely no greater Elisha ever lived than  this man.

But the real reason I don't mind being Elisha is because of what's in the name. The name means to me everything that I am. If what my name meant were not true of who I am, I would have nothing, I would be nothing, and ultimately, I would not be who I am... I would be Elisha, but I wouldn't really be an Elisha. I would be Elisha in name, but not Elisha in spirit.

So what do I even mean? (pun!)

Elisha, with Hebrew origin, means,
"God is my salvation," or "My God is Salvation."

If I had to pick only one word to describe myself- well, I'd have to say "Elisha," because to me that's the only thing that matters. My name speaks of the grace of God which is my identity. And to me, that is so cool... my identity is quite literally, who I am. And who I am is only by the grace of God. He not only is salvation but He is my salvation. I like claiming that for myself. And I like that my name lays claim to that for myself.

If I can live out my entire life remembering who I am, remembering that I am saved by God, that He is my salvation, I think I'll do well living up to my name.

What's the application for this blog? Well, there is none really. I mostly just wrote this blog because I wanted to post the picture at the top that I made which is currently my desktop wallpaper, but I figured I'd attach some words to it as well.

I suppose if you really wanted application it would be this: Find out what your name means if you don't already know. Also- maybe change up your signature, 'cause that's fun sometimes. But, if your name doesn't live up to all you hoped for it to be, well, take that name on- be the greatest Gomer there ever was for goodness sake! Bring back the name Gilbert! And know- your name doesn't have to be who you are- if your name means "harlot," girl, don't take that on as your identity... or boy... same goes for you! No harlots need be had in these parts. By the grace of God you are a chosen person, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own possession. I'm simply voicing my overwhelming gratefulness for having lucked out in that my name really did end up being who I am.

*On a semi-related note- anyone know if we'll have the same name in Heaven?

1 comment:

ashley said...

i could not love this [or you] more. you are inspiring and hilarious. your love for God is contagious, don't ever lose heart.
yeah, i just really love being your friend.