Iím not a big fan of New Yearís resolutions since most of the time
they never last but I know I need to change something and make some
fresh starts. I guess the New Year is a good time to make some new
goals and resolutions instead of putting them off even longer? By now
you have probably already heard the two most popular resolutions
stated by a friend or co-worker or family member. Those being, to
start a new diet and or a new exercise regimen! For some reason those
two always pop up. I have been thinking about what I would be changing
for the New Year for several weeks now and seem to always come up with
the same ones over and over each year most of which I never follow
through with after a few short weeks. After a lot of thought, I
finally came up with my New Yearís Resolution. Itís more of a goal
that I hope to carry out during the whole year but will start Jan 1st.
I am going to awkwardly embarrass myself for the next 30 days! I have
been serving on staff at my church for over 6 years and after seeing
the same people every week, and still do not know their names; I am
going to start asking. You know the feeling! You see the same people
over and over but you either can''t remember their names or you never
bother to ask and just say hello. How many times have you carried on a
conversation with someone like you know them, but in reality you don''t
even know their name?
When I first started in the church I am on staff at now, a couple
introduced them self to me by name and asked if I donít mind they are
going to do that every time we meet until I can repeat their names
back on the spot. What a cool idea and let me tell you they were the
first people I got to know like that. Today, six years later, when we
meet we say each otherís names slowly in jest of that original idea.
Of course part of the issue of not knowing a name is that I have a
hard time remembering names. My name retention is horrible. I mean I
can meet someone and get their name, and then 5 minutes later see them
again and not remember what they told me. Weird! Anyway for the next
30 days my plan is to ask names of anyone I meet or talk to so that I
can get to know them better. The awkward part is going to be asking
someone their name when I see them every week and greet them and
should know them by this time. They assume I know their name and will
be shocked when I ask them "tell me your name please".
One couple I greet every week at church that sit in the same place
week after week, I saw outside of church one day. The guy walks up to
me and Iím thinking, great I don''t know his name. He says hello to me
and calls me by my name, Rick. Then proceeds to introduce himself by
name and his wife''s name and says maybe we see each other every week
at church but wanted to make sure I knew their names. It was a great
gesture on his part and I appreciated that so much. From that point on
I greet them by name now.
Once I was in a restaurant eating dinner that offers a salsa and
chip bar you can go through as you like. At this one time there was a
lady in front of me in line and she noticed there were no chips left.
She looks to the left at a lady behind the counter and calls her by
name and informs her there were no chips left. It was so casual and
smooth that I said to her thanks for telling your friend we needed
more chips. She then says she did not know that lady and had never met
her. I asked how she knew her name then. She responded, ďItís on her
name tagĒ. I can tell you that lady has never met a stranger. Greeting
people by name as Jesus always did can make it fun and interesting.
Another awkward time is when you think you know their name and greet
them by it for a while until one day they inform you their name is not
what you have been using. Like where did I get their name from anyway?
Another awkward time is when I greet couples sitting it church over
and over but knows only one of their names. I have several couples I
greet where I know the guyís name but not the ladies. I know that may
be awkward when I greet "Mike" and then just a hello to his wife. She
is probably wondering why I never use her name.
What is really funny is when there is a small group of us having a
great conversation like we all know each other well. One person walks
off and you ask someone in the group what their name is and no one
knows. We were just all talking like best friends and no one knows
So that tells me I am not alone in this no-name knowing embarrassment.
Maybe you are in the same predicament!
I believe Jesus Christ taught this concept of getting to know people
thus creating community. All through the Bible it teaches us that
Jesus knew who he was talking to. He called people by name and knew
them. Of course he was God in the flesh and knows our innermost being
but he also knows us by name. There is a powerful connection between
two people when you know each otherís name. I choose to follow in the
steps of Jesus and get to know those I meet. What about you? Will you
take the challenge with me?
Here goes nothing! I''m off with a goal of premeditated embarrassment
for the next 30 days as my 2014 New Yearís resolution goal.