My parents named me Larry. It is neat knowing you are named after your father but also Larry isn't necessarily a sexy name, is it?.Don't get me wrong. I don't hate my name. It is just not necessarily the most regal sounding name. There are different forms of Larry I could have been called; Lawrence, Lorenzo (my favorite) which are both a little more sexier. However, I'm neither of those. I am in a line up with other Larry's like Larry King. King was a sage CNN talk show host who resembled a cute (?) little praying mantis in suspenders. Then there is Larry the Cable Guy, a hilarious comedian who purposely rings of hillbilly grits than fine wine as part of his act. Of course, I say this in jest (so all you other "Larry"''s just calm down). I do value my name, I'm just saying its not the sexiest sounding name out there.
In Catholic middle school, I had a teacher who was on a quest to get me kicked out because "Larry" wasn't a Catholic name. Thankfully, the priests just laughed him off but still, he gave me much flack for having a non-Catholic name. This along with being bullied by peers reeked havoc on my self esteem and I learned to lose a lot of confidence right down to my own name. However, I gained much more respect for my name as I got older. My bond with my father of the same name was stronger by then. I also learned that my father was named after his father's best friend, the one man of color in his little hometown that everyone disowned but my grandfather stood up for. This gave my name new meaning, for sure.
Now, switching gears to you...have you ever been in a group or circle and asked to give your name and tell 'a little something' about yourself? Suddenly, your heart is beating a little faster and your not quite sure what to say, how to sum yourself up and even saying your own name suddenly sounds goofy and uncomfortable. You can't seem to say it quick enough. Or how about when people ask you questions that are too deep for comfort, you know the ones...the ones that go beyond "how are you" and where you say "oh fine!" and move on? A lot of eager beavers want to know "how is your love life?". Who are you dating? Who are your friends? What are you up to? And my all time favorite passer-by question on the fly, "What's new?" Meanwhile, on the inside, we struggle to really be in touch with ourselves to give confident responses or even "You know, I'm not comfortable answering that right now, thank you."
Taking this to another level: how do you feel about the name of God? A divine being? Sometimes the whole God thing is something so way out there beyond us. Also, one can be underwhelmed by all the religious freak shows on TV. The ones you are fine with being left for other religious nuts to wrestle with. Nevertheless, for true seekers of a higher self, no matter what your conclusion may be in the end, you come face to face with the God question. Just the name "God" is stirring up feelings in you right now...longing, discust, fear, love.
Most people these days know that a name can mean something like "brave", "joyful" etc. A lot of people in Christianity insist on saying "in Jesus name" after everything and every prayer like it is a secret code to God's vending machine that will pop out something, at least. However, what the Bible really means by doing something in someone else's name is that you are acting in their character. Therefore, you better be acting in their character if you are saying something "in their name" or you are making a fool of yourself. It definitely does not mean that because you say three magic words "in Jesus name" that God or anyone else is going to give their stamp of approval.
There is a lot in a name, whether we wish we were named something else or not. A name represents who we are. Who are you? I'm John or I'm Sue. What's underneath your "John" or "Sue"? Are you loving it or hating it? Let me put it a different way: do you have a passion for you? I bet you haven't been asked that before. Do YOU have a passion for YOU? Knowing you, taking care of you and finding your purpose, your "bliss" as author and philosopher Joseph Campbell suggested. Taking this further, do you have a passion for God? When you say your name and God's name, does it excite you, inspire you? Do you thank the universe that you were created as YOU, from when you were a little baby until now? Is God or a sense of higher self present in your life daily, weekly, monthly? Or do you cringe when you hear the name "God" or "Jesus" or "Buddah" or "Bubba". Okay, the last one "Bubba" was just to make you laugh. Lighten up and enjoy the journey that this series will hopefully bring you on.
My concern and passion for the world tonight is the lack of passion we have for ourselves and each other which gives us a lack of passion for God and our planet. It is creating a world where we now rest on the brink of salvaging ourselves and counting the cost of the losses or turning our planet into the next fireball in space.
I want you to listen to this song as it speaks to God giving us passion and in Part II I will be exploring some of the lyrics. We will explore how you can fan the flame of your passion.