Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Is In a Name?

I name my appliances.  It is a quirky thing about me.  I name my computer too (Stella O'Della).  Names mean something to me, reflect my thinking about a thing.  My old dishwasher that refused to clean even almost clean dishes was Poo-L and my new one is Whirl-Lee.  Usually I don't  change the names of those things, although sometimes the names go out of use.

People sometimes have nicknames, but usually don't change their names altogether.  A person usually only changes names if there is a significant reason to change. Woman usually take a new last name at their marriage which shows the world their new identity.  But, there are occasionally other reasons for a change in name. My sister, for example, has legally changed her first name to her middle name because upon her marriage she ended up with the same name as an infamous woman.  She tried to keep the name for a while, but eventually it just became a problem for her, so she had it changed.

In Genesis, God changed Jacob's name to Israel after Jacob wrestled all night with God.  The change in name signified a change in the person of Jacob. He had been a dishonest trickster who stole his brother's birthright.  Now he was a man who had looked upon the face of God and lived.  He asked to be blessed by God. Jacob knew what was important.  The person who had been Jacob became Israel.  His identity changed with his name.  It had significance.  Jacob allowed God to change him.

Most of us won't change our names more than once in our lives, if that.  But, it is worthy to ask ourselves from time to time about the changes that God wants to bring forth in our lives and invite the Holy Spirit in to allow that work in us.

Come, Holy Spirit, enliven our faith and bring forth your gifts in our lives that we may come to know and serve You with all of our hearts. Amen


  1. I must admit I never named appliances; even my sometimes Cantankerous Computer!

    I always called a spade a spade. Until the day I stepped on one and it jumped up and hit me in the face!

    Great thought-provoking post Mary. Thanx.

    God bless.

  2. Mary,
    The names you choose for your appliances always make me laugh!
    The new names God gives to people in the Bible has always fascinated me. The change reflected the new person they had become. Even Simon's name was changed to Peter in the New Testament.

    Thanks for the smile and the great post!

  3. Mary, I've never thought of naming my appliances before but perhaps I should! Your post is a great reminder how God works in our lives if we let Him. And when we do, great blessings and graces will rain down upon us!!