“Hello my name is Child of the One True King.” – Matthew West
“Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” – Genesis 32:28
Childlike Empress: He doesn’t understand that he’s the one who has the power to stop it(the Nothing). He simply can’t imagine that one little boy could be that important.
Bastian: Is it really me?
Atreyu: Maybe he doesn’t know what he has to do!
Bastian: What do I have to do?!
Childlike Empress: He has to give me a new name. He’s already chosen it, he just has to call it out.
– The Neverending Story
“Remember who you are.” – Mufasa
Part 1 of this week’s thoughts focused on my name: Bryce David Yelverton. As I said before, my name was never enough for me. I am a guy who loves titles. I love to be thought of as someone more than Bryce. Like for instance: I love DIsney stuff. Like I can talk movies, theme parks, company history, etc. til my tongue falls out. So naturally some people around me refer to me as the Disney Guy. I like that. There are also titles that I hate. For instance: I hate being called a jerk. Yes it has happened more than a few times. Yes I did deserve it. But again you can probably agree that being called the Disney Guy is way better than the jerk.
One of the most influential books I have ever read is Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. I read it once as a high school kid, but I read it again when I was older. I also joined a Wild at Heart men’s group for a few years not that long ago. Wild at Heart had so many good things that I apply to myself now. One of those things is a question that all men have. That question is, “Do I have what it takes?” So many times I look in the mirror and ask myself that question, “Do I have what it takes?” Even though I feel like that question has been answered many times, I still ask again and again. Last week I got an answer to that question in the most amazing way.
So go with me back to my childhood. Really the childhood of most kids born in the late 80s/early 90s. There were a few staples to films that all those kids would know. I am going to talk about two. The Neverending Story and The Lion King. Let’s start with the wildcard: The Neverending Story. If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a favor and watch it. I must warn you it is weird. The story is a journey of a young boy, Bastion, who loves to read and in fact the book that he reads turns out to be real. The book focuses on the journey of Atreyu, a young warrior, who is trying to save the world of Fantasia from destruction by helping to save the life of the Childlike Empress (still with me here?). So the end of the movie has Bastion realizing that he has to be the one to save the Childlike Empress and the only way to do it……is to give her a name. What? Give her a name thats it? When I was a kid I thought this was ridiculous. Plus in the movie you can’t even understand what name Bastion gives the Childlike Empress (because he yells it in a storm). However, it worked. Giving the Empress a name, saved the whole world of Fantasia. There is power in names.
Another great hit of the 90s was The Lion King. Probably a film you are more aware of. The Lion King is one of the best animated movies of all time. Simba is a young lion cub and heir to the throne. Mufasa, Simba’s father, dies in the middle of the movie (and thus tramatized my childhood). Simba, thinking that he was the cause of his father’s death, runs away and his evil cousin Scar takes over the throne. Simba escapes to a tropical paradise and leaves his cares behind, but Mufasa appears to him in a dreamlike sequence to tell him he must go back and take the throne. The key part of this movie is this scene where Mufasa appears to Simba in clouds and tells him a key phrase that still resonates with me today: “Remember who you are.”
I am constantly asking my question to God and everyone else in my life. Do I have what it takes? God’s answer; Remember who you are.
So recently I have been battling the urge to give up. I hate cancer. I hate chemotherapy. I hate the metallic taste in my mouth. I hate the numbness in my fingertips. I hate the dull nausea and the fear of headaches. I hate it. Last week was my birthday as most of you know. I received lots of cards and letters of love from dear friends, new friends, and even strangers. I also received a package in the mail from a great family friend of mine: Maggie. Maggie’s parents have been friends with my family for years. They used to help babysit me and my sister, Becca when we were little. I even pooped on Maggie’s dad’s leg as an infant (he still wishes his kids had done the same to me, but alas that has not happened yet). Anyway you get the point. During Thanksgiving week, Maggie made me a Rainbow loom bracelet. If you don’t know what a Rainbow loom bracelet is, just ask any kid you know that is under the age of 12. I started wearing the bracelet during my cancer treatment to remind me that people are praying for me and that people love me. Maggie’s mom told me that Maggie was making me a new bracelet that was Maroon and White for Mississippi State. I assumed that this was what was in the package.
Opening the package, I found not only a bracelet for me, but also bracelets for my whole family. Each set of bracelets had the name of the design of the Rainbow Loom bracelet that she made. For my parents, they received Fishtails. For my sister and brother-in-law, they received Ladders. For my wife, she received a Zippy Chain. And this was what my design was called:
At that moment, not only did I start weeping (really it was snot crying), but I also heard clearly the answer to my question. “God, do I have what it takes?” And He said, “Remember who you are, you are my son and a warrior.” He gave me another name. Warrior. I know that crying is not neccessarily a warrior thing to do, but beating cancer is. The name was not yelled in a storm, nor was it in the voice of James Earl Jones, it was written by the hand of a child, who chose to make a nice bracelet for a friend. A child that God chose to use as a vessel for his voice.
There is so much power in names. That is why so many praying people, use Jesus’ name when they pray. They say, “In Jesus name.” Because His name is powerful. And the names He gives his children are powerful too.
Do you have what it takes to ask if you have what it takes?
Jesus in Your Name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today
Lord, give us strength to live for You and glorify Your Name
Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
‘Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name – Your Name by Phillips, Craig, and Dean
“The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.” – Isaiah 62:2
And for all of you that want to know what name Bastion gives the Childlike Empress – it’s MoonChild. Yeah I know, I was disappointed too. Oh, but I do have a dog that looks like Falkor.