Prose: The Importance of Names

I’ve always been into who I am and why I do the things I do, and how others perceive me. Luckily, there’s a lot of ways to find this information. Personality tests are plastered all over magazines and the internet, the myers-briggs test is the most famous method of identifying and defining human behavior, and astrology has gained quite the following for being general enough to give people the answers they need. I think we’re all born with an inherent desire to be told who we are, and when we can’t find resolution with the answers society provides, we begin a life-long search for it. We start building a persona or a mask that is tailor-made to fit the image we wish to reflect towards others, and we do this until even we are wholly convinced of our personality as told to us by ourselves. Writers do this a lot, even more so than most, I think. In part, I think it is because we’re forced by our passion to be introspective and then be vulnerable with that information so we can then present more personable work towards our audience. It’s all selfish pursuits, and even the term “writer” is part of our charade.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve never struggled with this. I’m sure of it, and why would they? They had full, unadulterated access to the Creator, Himself. He was with them, day and night. His presence alone gave them the assurance of their identity, their purpose and their meaning. I think humanity’s plight began at the Fall, when we were divorced from His presence through filthy rags of impurity. That was the first time humanity lost sight of our value to God, and it started our never-ending search for validation. Sight is a powerful thing. Faith wouldn’t be necessary if we could see God like Adam and Eve did. I wonder if Adam and Eve ever questioned the reality of God after they were banned from the Garden. Personally, I would think I had just ate some pretty wicked mushrooms in that Garden and tripped my face off through the first half of my life.

Astrology used to be a big part of my life, and consumed a lot of my time. I figured out my rising and moon signs, made the charts, read the books, all of that, but after my introduction to God, I kind of drifted away from those things. For some reason, it just didn’t interest me anymore. Lately, though, I’ve been leaning into it for answers, and it almost completely disparaged my prayer life. When I took the time to come up for air and take a look at myself, I was a bit horrified. I mean, at first, I tried to make excuses for it. I would tell myself that since God made the stars and scriptures clearly say, “The heavens shall declare your glory,” that looking to them for answers would only lead me back to the Creator, and there was no harm in it. I don’t really know what changed my mind, but I began to look to scripture for some illumination on the subject. What I found was confirmation enough to put astrology down and take back up my relationship with God.

I skipped around all throughout the bible and found in several places where God gives people a new name. If you read the bible, you can’t miss it. One of the first times this occurs is in Genesis 17:5 when He names Abram, Abraham and promises to make him a father to many nations. This continues all the way into the Gospel of Mark 3:17 when Jesus gives the sons of Zebedee James and John, the name Boanerges which means “Sons of Thunder.” I started to wonder what was in a name that was so important. After pondering many different conclusions, I came to the realization that when God named people, He was demonstrating, in part, His love for them. He was identifying them. Y’know how in school, when you’d win an award or a game and the teacher would announce your name and put a metaphysical spotlight on you. It felt good, and there’s no sense in denying it since we still get these little rushes of acceptance and validation for who we are and what we do via likes on facebook or retweets on twitter or even when people follow our blogs here on wordpress. We look for appraisal on the job, in sports, from our families and friends. It makes us feel special and valued. God knew, and still knows how important it is for us to know our value to Him and in life, in general, so He takes us aside every now and then, and remind us of how much we mean to Him, and then He’d quite blatantly bless us in the sight of others, so that they would also know who loved and cherished us.

When God tells you who you are and names you as His beloved child, it erases the need to be defined by the world we live in, it weakens the grip that the acceptance of others has on your life, and it serves as a reminder of our purpose and our value. For all these reasons, it confused me even more why, as a daughter of God, I would need to go back to astrology to find out who I was. I’m still looking for a definitive deficit, but I think it might be a combination of slowly allowing other things to define me in place of God’s love.

You are beloved by God, just the way you are. All your faults, flaws and short-comings mean nothing in the sight of His compassion for you. He is your justification. God does not want to change you so He can love you more; He wants you to change so you can love you more. If He thought that you could live the rest of your life in perfect love for yourself and others, I doubt He’d be so passionate towards your growth. Live in hope and find security in God’s grace. You will be just fine.

Romans 8 inspired a lot of what I wrote here, especially verses 18-30 so if you’d like to be reminded of something wonderful, go ahead and check it out.

Until next time, comrades.


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