The Power of a Name

Paul Harvey was one of radio’s most famous personalities, known primarily for his radio segments titled “The Rest of the Story,” in which he weaves fascinating tales, waiting until the last moment to reveal the identities of the story’s main character. For example, he once told the story of sixteen-year-old Michael, a basketball player who collided with an opponent during a game and wound up biting off and swallowing the tip of his own tongue. Harvey went on to tell how Michael was also a budding young singer whose voice was forever altered by the incident. In fact, even Michael himself assumed his singing days were over. But (according to Harvey) that fateful event gave Michael a raspy tone and style that would eventually make him a star and a legend.

So, who was this young man? Well, that’s a good question. But perhaps a better question is, does it really matter? After all, the story itself should be sufficient inspiration for never giving up, overcoming tragedy, yada yada yada. But it doesn’t work like that, does it? What if I gave you more details? For example, this incident is visually connected to a cultural icon for which Michael is famous. Still no clue? Well, the man’s full name: Michael Phillip Jagger, otherwise recognized as the lead singer for the Rolling Stones. (Now the big lips and tongue make more sense, right?)

Surprised? I sure was. Harvey got me every time with those hidden identities. And at the end of each segment when he finally reveals the name—BAM!—I’m blown away. That’s the power of a name.

Why is it so critical for us to know the name of a person? How is it that someone’s history and character can be so inextricably tied to something as simple as a name? More importantly, how does this insight relate to prayer?
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


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