by M. Kenneth Lyon

This content is part of a series.

The Power of Persistence (4 of 5)
Series: Ancient Visions--Future Hope
M. Kenneth Lyon
Ruth 1:16-18
August 9, 1998

Watching a little bit of the Panther ball game last night, there was a play in which a player's name was called and then a clarification. The player's name was Mike Fogelman. And yet that's not what they called him. They called him Mike Delaney, and then they backed up to say, "You'll recall he was a graduate, I think, from Carolina, and you knew him as Mike Fogelman. But he has changed his name to honor his mother. He goes by Mike Delaney. There's a story behind that name change. Did you ever wish you had a name other than the name you have? I can remember growing up. I'd see people with certain attributes that I admired or envied and I would wish that I was named like them because then maybe I'd have some of those attributes. If a person were a particularly good athlete, I might wish that my name was Ted. Or if they were extremely well met and great personality and good- looking, I might wish that my name was Mike. I just wasn't very satisfied with my name. I would like to change it. In fact, a lot of people do change their names. People go before the Judge, go before the court system, asking for their name to be changed for various and sundry reasons. Imagine then what must have happened in a person's life for a person to change their name from Naomi to Mara, which means bitter. Don't call me Naomi. Call me bitter. She had arrived back in Bethlehem after being away for at least 10 years. Folks were surprised to see her. Apparently they didn't know she was coming. They were surprised too because she had with her a foreigner, a young woman they discovered had been married to one of Naomi's sons. She was a Moabitess from the land of Moab, where Naomi and her husband had moved and now she's saying, "Don't call me Naomi, call me bitter." Why? "Because the Lord has dealt harshly with me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty ...

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