Tuesday, July 24, 2012


It may surprise you (not at all) to know that I'm fairly excitable.  It's not very sophisticated, but it's how I am, and I don't think I should apologize for that.

However, what's happened over the years is that I'm excitable about different things than I once was.  As a youngster, as I think is true for most of us, I was mostly excitable over my own accomplishments.  It's part of that achievement-based society that tells us that we are whatever we can do, and that makes us proud and excited about what we actually get done because we feel like somehow, that is making us something.  And we're all desperately searching to be something.  But this kind of excitability leads to pride, arrogance, a better-than-you mentality that lives loud and rubs people the wrong way until people practically (actually) scream at you that you aren't what you do, that you don't have to be, even though we all kind of know the truth from living in this society that to an extent...we are exactly that.

The past few years, though, have seen a switch in my excitability, and I'm not really hung up on what I do any more.  What gets me is what I get the opportunity to do.  Chances.  Opportunities.  And still mail.

Sidebar: Mail excites me.  Irrationally so.  Just last week, my boss and I were coming back from the recycling center in his truck, and as we pulled up to hitch the trailer to the back, I noticed the mailman had been to my house.  I jumped out of his truck with all the excitement of a four-year-old, squealing something so profound as "Mail!" and bolted for my front porch.  It's not that anything particularly good comes, but it's the chance that one day, it might!  If you're not excited about mail, I think there's something seriously wrong with you.  Or you get too many bills.  

Anyway, instead of being excited now about what I do, I'm excited about what I get to go.  The chances God gives me to put something to use in me.  The ways He invites me to connect both with His Spirit in me and His Spirit in the world.  The way He uses my overflowing to pour into a void somewhere greater than I could imagine.

It's an entirely different perspective from this kind of excitability.  The achievement-based excitement of youth is one that puts its head down and plows forward, then looks up and raises high an accomplishment in search of approval.  The matured excitement of purposeful living is one that looks up for direction and pulls itself down to grounded.  The achievement-based excitement lives loud, shouting itself from the mountaintops in hopes of being heard.  Matured excitement lives out loud, letting its actions speak for itself and not caring about drawing the attention because it has already heard and therefore doesn't need to be heard.  It's the difference between arrogance and service, between self and sacrifice.

And it's pretty cool.  But I have to admit that I'm still over-the-top excited in situations where it seems like I'm the only one in the room rarin' to go, as we say here in the Midwest.  Give me a project, let me tap into what God's put in me, let Him work through me and I'm all over it.  I could go for days, weeks, years...as long as He's fueling me.  And I let Him, and that gets me all excited.  I don't always get it right; sometimes, I still let my excitability live loud instead of out loud, and it drives me absolutely nuts.  I'll condemn myself for days in my own mind because I know that's not it, and I know that if I'm living loud, there's something in me trying to make it about me.  I don't like that in myself; maybe one day, God will help me finally move past that, though I am excited (see?) to see that those moments are already becoming fewer and further between.

But I wondered one day, out loud with my God, just what makes me so excitable like this?  Where does this passion, this energy come from that doesn't seem to translate to everybody?  It's not that I'm against being an odd-ball, it's just that it pains me to see so many other people living 'above' excitement, like it's somehow unholy or unacceptable to let this kind of joy, hope, and expectancy overwhelm you and show on your face.

Then God reminded me of my name.  Aidan.  And I could only smile.  You see, Aidan is a Gaelic name meaning "little fire."  I've known that for several years, and I've known that is what my God would call me.  Little Fire.  Little Flame.

In the moment He said that to me, reminded me of my name, I got it.  But He said it anyway.

"Little Fire, is it any wonder you're stoked?"

Stoked.  All the time.  Excitable.  Driven by purpose, ready to go.  Engaged in the moment, wrapped up in this chance.  Fueled.  Stoked.  

Yeah, that's pretty much it.  My Father stokes me.

I encourage you to find the meaning of your name and pray about how God would work it into your life, how He uses it to encourage and inspire you.  And be open to the possibility that, as we are reminded in His Word, He has a name for us, too, and that might not be what your parents called you.  Ask Him what He calls you; it's a clue to your passion, your personality, and your promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment