I have no strategies for chess today, but posting for week 2 of the Your Secret Name read-a-along. This week’s reading was Chapter 3: the Name Game and Chapter 4: Puppets and Pawns.

For this week’s Your Secret Name Read-a-Along, I am taking up Marla’s questions. I have copied from her post about the two 2 chapters with her questions.

Chapter 3: The Name Game

What did you think of the statement on page 37 that, “Most men define who they are by what they do–their jobs. Most women define who they are by who they know–their relationships.” Agree? Disagree? Do you fit that stereotype?

Agreed and Yes I fit the stereotype. My jobs define me. When people ask me “What do you do?” I start by talking about my job. I work for a hotel company in their call centre. I am a candidate for a political party. I am a photographer. I am the Crucifer (cross bearer) for my church. These are all roles I have had in the past six months.

Society defines men by what they do or don’t do. And the reverse is true. Society defines woman by who they know. Growing up, my sister hated being Doug’s sister. And I see/hear woman introduce themselves by who their husband/spouse is.

We are so much more than what we do or who we know. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:1o) . We are a dwelling place for God (Eph 2:21). so it  is important what we do and who we know. but that said, it is our relationship with God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit that defines who we are, what we do and who we know. We must point others to God but what we do.

How about p. 45–”Beneath the surface of every person is a human being with an insatiable need to know who he or she was created to be.” Can you relate to that? How are you doing in the I-know-who-I-truly-am department?

I relate completely. I never really felt like I belonged anywhere I went. At church, I was became happy to be doing my own thing rather than fitting into the mould. But I fit well in the Christian mould. I was good at memorization, I took pride in winning the sword drills. I thought that by doing well, I would be recognized by others and accepted by them. At school, I had friends but they ignored me at times, even purposely avoiding me. So I learned to accept the loner label. I was always trying to find what I was good at and make people like me for that. But it never worked.

I am still working on the I-know-who-I truly-am department. I enjoy my alone time, but I know I am a social being. I am great at helping others and listening. I have been told I’m a good conversationalist. I still don’t believe it, but I am working on it. I am a diplomat. I try to measure my words, so I don’t offend. I build bridges of consensus. I know I am not always successful at this but I’m conscious that this is my strong suit. Spiritually, I am a lot like Barnabas. I am an encourager. I am learning to be a great leader, but more importantly, I am learning how to be a great follower. I feel like I am boasting in this paragraph. It is not my intention to boast and brag up my abilities. I pray that God will be glorified though the talents he has given to me.

Chapter 4: Puppets and Pawns

The story about the Bible Institute teacher who tried to guilt his students into becoming foreign missionaries made me sick. Has anyone ever tried to force you to become someone you just weren’t created to be? I feel so blessed that my parents never, not ever, tried to use me as a puppet or put square me in a round hole. I do remember my High School Calculus teacher telling me he really hoped I’d make a career out of math someday, and my English teacher telling me she really hoped I’d become a writer. Score one for the English teacher!

My parents never shared their hopes and dreams for me, until I made my decision to go to Bible College. Turns out I made the right decision. But the rest of my life since has been one of me not living out that expectation in the ways expected. I grew up Pentecostal, now an Anglican/Episcopal switched last year as a middle-aged adult. I finally feel like I belong. The traditional Anglican liturgy strongly suits my personality and who I am as a meditative/spiritual person.

If you’re a parent (or a teacher), have you ever been guilty of trying to “persuade” your child (or student) to be something just because that’s what you wanted?

Not a parent or teacher. But we try to persuade our friends and family to be what we want. Sometime we succeed. Sometimes we fail miserably. We also try to persuade others in our circles of influence to be what we want. It’s hard for anyone when those around fail to live up to our expectations of them. But we must learn to accept them as they are and let them be who God has created them to be.

And how about this quote (p. 58)–”As long as we’re content pretending we’re someone we’re not, we’ll never discover our Secret Name. When we need to lie in order to get a new name, we only fool one person. Ourselves.” What do you make of that? Can you relate in any way?

I relate because I tried it for a few years with work and school. And I see it all the time in others. The peer pressure to conform to those around us is tremendous. I still stumble in this but the good thing is that I have recognized it as happening.

And the story of Pinocchio, a story of identity, teaches us that identity is found in our creator. and what I was reminded of when I saw Kary’s question on the last page of chapter 4:

What’s in a name if you have to lie in order to receive?