“WHAT’S IN A NAME?”

Birth Certificate certificate

 

After I came back from Germany, serving with the United State Army, I applied for a job.  The company asked for my birth certificate.  I was 21 years old, worked since I was 11, served in the army, and traveled all through Europe and had never been asked for my birth certificate.  In fact, I had never seen my birth certificate.

I mentioned in an earlier post about being born in the back bedroom in a small community.  The only buildings in Stockman were a general store and a church.  The general store was also the post office.  We didn’t live in downtown Stockman.  We lived about a mile away, so I guess we lived in the suburbs.  I contacted the county clerk for a copy of my birth certificate.  When I received the certificate, I was amazed.  I had no first or middle name.  Just_________Burrows.  The county clerk sent a nice letter and an application form and told me I could pick out any name I wanted.  It seems the doctor who delivered me failed to complete the application regarding my first and middle name.  The information on the birth certificate stated where I was born, the date and time, my parents, and the physicians name…….but nobody knew WHO I was.

This would have been great if I had a history of crime or bad behavior in general.  But, I thought about all the things I would have to change.  Drivers license, social security card, diplomas, etc.  In 21 years I had become accustomed to the name anyway.  There were a few times in the past that I would probably like to forget about, but they were insignificant compared to all the work to change my name.  So, I just picked my own name and mailed in the application.  Since then, there have been occasions where I needed a copy of the certificate and when the clerk checked the records, they always remarked that I had two birth certificates.

So…….”What’s in a name?” 

When God commanded Moses to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt into the promised land (Canaan), God had declared, “I am the God who was worshiped by your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Exod 3.1-6). When Moses asked what God’s name was, God replied, “tell them that the LORD, whose name is ‘I Am,’ has sent you (Exod 3.13-15).”

Each of us have a name that identifies us.  The name we carry is not just the name we were given at birth.  We build a “name” for ourselves over our lifetime.  Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad.  The name we build is all about our character, integrity, and most of all our relationship with God.  That relationship is what determines our real name.  We must guard our name with our actions and deeds.  So, “What’s in a Name?”……..

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