What’s in a Name?

name-tagSo what’s in a name?  Turns out…a whole lot.  Especially at church.

I don’t know about most – but I am AWFUL at remembering names.  Meredith, a girl in my last student ministry, was actually Kelsey.   Oops.  I think I called her Meredith for eight months….WITH HER CORRECTING ME EVERY SINGLE TIME!  Names matter – and so we MUST know them.  (I have a LOT more capital letters in this post than usual!)

Recently, I’ve been working with some students in a ministry who don’t know one another very well.  So each week, we spend about 20 minutes or so just ‘meeting’ each other.  For some students, it’s the very first time they have even spoken to one another.  Last night, it occurred to me – we’re spending a lot of moments hearing about family, school, even favorite foods – but do they even know one another’s names?

Turns out some leaders assumed all the students knew the names of their ‘friends’ because the leaders all knew everyone.  Most of the students knew the adult leader and the person sitting next to them – and no one else.

We tell students that Jesus loves them and knows them and wants a relationship with them.  How does that translate when no one even knows their name??  Make space for students to TRULY meet one another.  And make an effort to know their names….

Waiting Vs. Wasting

Waiting-Room-Braille-Engraved-Sign-SE-2730“Sometimes waiting turns to wasting.”

And with those words, Jesus rocked my world through Katie’s wisdom once again!

Our family has been in a holding pattern for a LOT longer than we ever anticipated when this journey was thrust upon us by God.  And it was very evident early on that it would be a significant wait…much like that time you went to the doctor’s office and got there on time for your early-morning appointment and still missed an entire day of work.

You remember the appointment, right?  A minor annoyance at first, you watched the clock and wondered exactly how long you’d be there.  As you settled in to an uncomfortable seat and hoped you wouldn’t catch what anyone else had, you began to plan out your adjusted calendar for the day.  As you realized even the most well-adjusted calendar wouldn’t be happening THAT day, you sent a few e-mails or texts from your smart phone and just resolved yourself to the wait.  And at some point, waiting became wasting as you picked up magazines you would never read on a normal day, took quizzes that assessed stuff you didn’t really care about, and counted something, anything, in an effort to occupy the ticking moments until your name was called.

And when finally your name was called, relief washed over you…partially because the wait had taken SO DADGUM LONG…and partially because your brain was turning to mush as you migrated from waiting to wasting.

Sometimes waiting on God is necessary, though annoying and uncommonly painful.  And sometimes, we allow ourselves to unwittingly drift from waiting to wasting.  Don’t waste the time God is waxing silent or slow, as some would define slow.  Be ‘active’ in the wait.  Seek the truths God wants to teach you.  Lean into the significance of stillness.  And when it’s time, let relief consume as your name is called…not because you’ve been wasting….but because the wait is over.