Let me know your name, Lord, and help me to understand who you are and who I truly am. Show me how to treat your name with reverence. Help me to understand that I am like a letter you have written and signed: whenever I keep your commandments, I bring your name to others.
Each person’s name has special importance. Our names identify who we are. From the perspective of the Bible, however, a name is something even more: it reveals the person who carries it, and announces his or her role or mission.
In a way, a person’s name “is” the person. It reveals to others the deepest “self” of the one who bears it. Because of this, certain people we read about in the Bible received a new name at the moment in which their life changed.
When Jesus called Simon to discipleship, he gave Simon the new name “Peter,” which means “rock.” As the first “rock” of the Church, Peter was given the mission to provide a foundation for believers in Christ and guidance in living the faith.
n the fall of 1961 the Perryton Ranger football team played the
Quanah Indians for the district championship. I was a proud member of that Ranger team, yet so ignorant of my region’s history that I didn’t notice the irony of this contest. My Rangers had taken their name from the legendary Texas Rangers and the town of Quanah had been named in honor of Quanah Parker. Our clash on the football
ﬁeld, in other words, became a symbolic reenactment of the Battle of
Pease River, only with diﬀerent results. In 1961 the Rangers lost and the Indians won.
When I was growing up in Perryton, J. Evetts Haley was one of the very few authors the Texas Panhandle had ever produced. In high school we were never exposed to his books on Fort Concho, the XIT ranch, George Littleﬁeld, and Charles Goodnight, all ﬁrst-rate works of scholarship about the very region we were occupying, the northwest
Texas High Plains. When I graduated from high school in 1962, I’m not sure I would have even recognized Haley’s name. Looking back, I see this as a sad omission, and it is no wonder that I marched oﬀ to college thinking that I had grown up in a cultural wasteland and that all writers lived in New York and Boston. In fact, the Panhandle had produced a small handful of authors in addition to Mr. Haley: Laura V. Hamner,
“I am either killed or shot. If all the gold in the world belonged to me, I would freely give it to kill him. I have one consolation, however, I made the coward run.”
John Wesley Hardin
ugitive Hardin did not leave Sabine County in a gallop as one might expect him to do after wounding a state policeman. He intended to return to Gonzales County—to Jane—but on the way he stopped in Polk and Trinity counties to visit relatives. At a store not far from Livingston he and a man identified only as Hickman engaged in a horse race.
The winner would walk away with a purse of $250. There were several
Hickman families living there at the time: Bartley, Asa, Hezekiah, Morton S. and James as heads of households. They were all from Louisiana with the exception of Morton S. Hickman who was a native Texan. These all constituted a group who were related.
What is most interesting is that an acquaintance named Richard B.
“Dick” Hudson now informed Hardin that the Hickmans intended to take the $250 winning purse whether they won or lost the horse race. It was set for noon on a certain day. Each party put up an initial sum of $100 “as a forfeit.” Hardin informed Hudson that he was aware of what the Hickmans intended to do, and that he was ready to fight them, as “I wanted
Debbie became more enthusiastic about her team and her work over the next few weeks. She was beginning to see how all of what Jeff was teaching her fit together. As the day of their next meeting approached, she thought about the question she had asked at the end of their last meeting. I wonder who he’ll select as the leaders who best put the principles of SERVE into practice?
On the morning of their meeting, Debbie headed for Jeff’s office with her newfound sense of optimism. I’ve learned so much. This mentoring has been a great experience!
They began by sharing what was going on in their personal lives. From the beginning, Jeff had always expressed interest in her life, both at work and outside the office.
Turning to the business at hand, Jeff asked, “Have you had any fresh insights since our last meeting?”
“Yes, quite a few,” Debbie said with some satisfaction in her voice.
“I learned that the ideas you shared actually work! Also, as I began to think about establishing and living the values of our organization, I realized that ‘if it is to be, it is up to me.’”