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What's in a name?

I’ve never been truly fond of my name.

Sorry Mom and Dad, no offense intended. I’m sure it must have sounded good at the time. But to me there just never seemed to be anything very distinguished about it.

Tom. Yawn.

As a former youth pastor, I used to envy at some of the cool names the kids in my youth group had. You know, like Sean, or Trevor or Troy – now those are names.

Or perhaps a strong Biblical name like John, Jacob or Luke. Oh wait, my name is in the Bible, that’s right. But really, who wants to be that guy – you know, Thomas, from Missouri the Show Me state? Thomas, the Doubter – wonderful – that’s who I’m named after? But wait, wasn’t Thomas actually his last name? Doubting Thomas? Ok, but it was worth a shot. It’s a wonder they didn’t just name Missouri, Thomas – same thing.

Well, anyway when I think of my name nothing exceptional comes to mind – as I told you before – bland. You know, like Saltines. Yes the ages old little square cracker- baked flat and thin with a little salt sprinkled on it? Nothing much else to it – certainly no “party in your mouth” factor. No sir, not with Saltines. Well, that’s me. Tom the Saltine. Nothing fancy. I mean honestly when was the last time you heard anyone say, “Hey, let’s meet at my house. We can watch the big game and finish off a box of Saltines!” Pretty sure those words have never been spoken out loud.

Recently though, as I pondered the Saltine, I know I really must get a life of some sort, I came to a kind of mini realization. I probably should have just called Nabisco – chances are they have known this all along but hey, I’ve never actually been the first one to the party so cut me a break. But 'here goes...

What really is the purpose of a Saltine cracker? It’s essentially useless on its own, or so one might imagine. My mini revelation was – a Saltine is nothing more than a simple delivery system that’s designed to not compete with the payload. Really, could you imagine snacking without Saltines? Not hard to figure out why they were invented when you look at it that way. Imagine smearing your cream cheese or your peanut butter on your fingers to eat it. Ok, so some of you prefer that. But many don’t, as evidenced by the fact that grocery stores still actually sell Saltines.

Ok, now back to my point.

So what’s in a name? As it turns out – lots. You see, actually my real name is “child of God” and my real mission on earth is to represent my Father and deliver His message of hope and forgiveness. My goal, much like the saltine is to deliver the message without wrecking it or competing with it. It must be delivered in a way that the recipient only sees the sender not the delivery man.

Wow, pretty tall order. And I frequently don’t get it right, but I’m still working on it. The good news? It doesn’t just depend on me. Thankfully, Saltines come packaged with tons of other Saltines. Four sleeves in every box with bunches of crackers in each sleeve. You see the other thing about Saltines is that you never eat just one. Cause just one can’t get the job done. But many can. And that’s where the rest of you come in. So, from one Saltine to another, thanks for being there.

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