Premeditated Embarrassment

Premeditated Embarrassment
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 their name? 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.