In less than thirty-six hours, I will hit the road for a family reunion in Nashville, Arkansas. Every other Fourth of July, my mom's family gets together on the peach farm where she was born and was raised. The descendants of Jord and Ruth Chesshir will spend several wonderful days together reminiscing, I usually go two years without seeing my cousins and their spouses and children and it's always amazing how the little ones cease to be little. I'll be driving my Honda Fit the three hundred seventy mile each way journey so I have to make sure it's road worthy. I have a warranty contract with Discount Tire for free tire rotation for the life of the car. Since my car is only a year old and had never had the tires rotated, I took it into the Discount Tire location down the street from my apartment and asked them to take a look. The kind folks there took my keys and I sat down to wait. Soon after I arrived, Larry Frank, our congregation's prison minister and the father of one of my students, came in. While his van was being serviced, we sat and talked and he updated me on his son, Ian, and his college/military plans.
It was a slow morning at Discount Tire and when I looked up, Larry and I were the only customers in the waiting room. One of the managers came out, obviously with the news that a car was ready. At first, I didn't catch what he said but he repeated, "Mr. Christian?" No response so then he asked, "Westbury Christian?" Larry and I laughed as it became apparent. The gentleman assumed the place of my employment was my name. I didn't argue with him. I took the keys, thanked him for the service-I was out as promised in forty-five minutes-, and got back into my schedule for the day. Later, I looked at my contract for the first time and sure enough, my name is listed as Westbury Christian. I think that's because the school was the first phone number I gave them, and that's what the computer printed. It would probably be good to go down and correct that oversight before it becomes a problem.
You know, nobody ever called me, "Mr. Christian" before. (In a totally unrelated note, I can't be the only person who thinks Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" is one of the five worst songs ever played on the radio.) I don't introduce myself to strangers as Steve the Christian but maybe I should. Only once in my life has anyone introduced themselves to me in that fashion. Mark McGowen-17years old- Lebanon, Tennessee- Friendship Christian gym- half court- June of 1985. I remember it word for word from one of the best kids I ever met. That would be a pretty good name for me to have permanently. Did you see Ron Artest has gone to court to change his name to Metta World Peace? Steve Christian sounds pretty good in comparison. And it would be scriptural as well. The Apostle Peter put it this way in 1 Peter 4:16:
"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."
Whoa- I forgot about that suffering stuff. That could really complicate things. Let me back up and think about this name change for awhile. And do me a favor. Let's not tell Discount Tire- I think they like me the way I am.
Applicable quote of the day:
"People's fates are simplified by their names."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org