So my spin class instructor has learnt what my name is and spin has not been the same since. You see before he knew my name, he’d shout instructions, encouragements and motivation around the room, sometimes in my direction but that didn’t phase me because who’s to know for sure that he was talking to me. This was my justification for not turning the resistance up or going faster or whatever else he was telling us to do. But now… well now he knows my name and will yell statements like “El-Ruth speed up”, “El-Ruth you’ve got more in you”, “Yes El-Ruth keep going” and the latest from my most recent spin class, “El-Ruth are you even awake – wake up”.
Life is different when you’re seen, known and called by name. I remember the first time I heard him shout my name because I was shooketh to my core. it was 6:50am, I wasn’t pedalling as fast as I could and to be honest my mind was preoccupied with everything I had to face that day and the burdens of the previous day. Forcing me out of my overthinking and back into the room came a loud voice saying “EL-RUTH” – that was it, just my name. It caught me completely of guard that I said “okay okay” (maybe admittedly after saying one bad word first) and started pedalling with all my might for the rest of the class. My whole behaviour changed because I was seen, known and called by name.
Time and time again the Bible says that we are seen, known and called by name and yet there are days, weeks, months even when I go through life a little sluggishly, overthinking and preoccupied by all life throws at me, forgetting that the Creator of the Universe, sees, knows and calls me by name.
Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself and frustrated that God isn’t speaking to me, this verse comes to mind “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognise it.”
(Job 33:14 NLT) and I remember He is speaking, I just need to listen and muffle out the noice of the world . I sometimes think maybe it would be easier if God shouted at us over a microphone like my spin teacher, but God often speaks in a quiet whisper directly to our hearts and shouts through the words on the pages of the Bible.
Sometimes my spin teacher will get off his bike and go and correct a person mid-class and as he approaches them he says “please don’t be offended I’m only trying to help”. I think it’s because it can be exposing being corrected especially in public; a person could easily feel put down instead of feeling pulled up to being all they can be. It can be like this with God, people can often feel angry at God (and at the church but that’s sometimes justified), they think God is trying to boss everyone around and asking too much from them. People can also get annoyed at my spin teacher for correcting them. In both situations, they forget and misinterpret the heart and motive of who is correcting them and urging them forward.
Your perspective to being seen, known and called by name is everything because it can either cause you to grab that helping hand or fall to the floor as if it pushed you.
My spin instructor doesn’t know everyone’s names and maybe he’ll forget mine one day, but unlike my spin instructor God knows each of our names. You aren’t lost in the 7.7 billion (and counting), you are seen, known and called by name. Every day the Creator or Universe in His unique and mysterious way is saying “*insert your name* wake up, keeping going, you can do it, you’ve got more in you”, but in reality He goes further than my spin instructor because He also says, “I’m with you, let me help you, you don’t have to do it alone, I’ll be your strength, I’ll sustain you and I’m never going to give up on you”.
I have called you by name. You are mine.– God (Isaiah 43:1)