"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet / Shakespeare
I distinctly remember being about 8 years old, staring into the bathroom mirror, and thinking, “I should be named Jim.” I have no idea where that came from. I also remember a college dorm-mate who spent four years calling me “Kent”. I tried correcting him a few times to no avail. That’s when I realized that names are just handles by which we hold relationships with others.
As a teen in Texas in the 70s I marveled at the Sunday afternoon exploits of a man named Roger. Roger Staubach is a Heisman Trophy winner, Super Bowl winner and MVP, and world-class business man. In this short space* I cannot say enough about the man’s unimpeached character and goodness. I had the privilege of meeting Roger and doing a little work with his company during my sojourn in the Dallas business community in the 80s. In 2008, Roger sold his global real estate company to a larger firm for over $700 million. Being an inquiring lad, I pried open the Annual Report of the buyer, Jones Lang Lasalle and read the details of the transaction. Here’s the one line that riveted my attention:
“Right to use the Staubach trade name . . . . . . $101,000,000”
Page 12, section 4 – “Intangibles”
I think even Shakespeare would pause at that transaction. Sure a rose can go by another name, but if your name alone is worth ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS, go with that. If you put YOUR name for sale up on Ebay right now, what do you think you could get for it? More on this after a word from our Sponsor:
God highly exalted Him [Jesus], and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. (Philippians 2:9-10)
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
As much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:4)
Over the course of my ministry, I have come in contact with two witches and one demon possessed woman. I don’t toss around statements like that casually – today’s thought requires that I mention it. In each case, I was extremely leery, but I had one approach, the Name of Jesus. In brief, I tangibly felt evil flee the scene at the name of Jesus Christ. It is “a more excellent name”! I hope you never wind up in a situation where evil envelopes you, but if you do… well, now you what to do. “Jesus” is not a lucky penny or a genie’s lamp to rub for personal benefit – it is the name to call when Heaven is your only hope (as is the case more often than you think).
In Malcom Gladwell’s Tipping Point, he talks about a fascinating kind of person – the Connector. A conversation with a Connector would go something like this: “Ah, you’re going to Flagstaff? Well, there’s a great restaurant there, il Pasto, only open on the weekends, but you’ll be glad you waited. When you get there, tell the front desk host that you want to talk to the manager, Louie. Tell Louie I sent you – he’ll fix you up.” (My words, not Gladwell’s.) That’s what a Connector does – he puts a person-in-need in contact with a person-who-delivers. I have a tiny little life and only a few connections. Only a couple of times in my life have I said “mention my name”. (I am golden with the secretaries at Olathe Northwest High School. If you need anything just tell them that Gideon’s dad sent you – they’ll fix you right up!) But scripture gives us the assurance that “at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW.” That's a connection! I’d mention THAT name early and often if I were you. It’s worth a lot!
Clark H Smith
*I have much more to say in praise of Roger, but I'll try to keep this short and relevant. This is not hero worship. I shook Roger's hand once, that is all. What I adore about Roger is that he steadfastly pursued what is good and right. During most of his football career, the Cowboys officed above the Dallas Playboy Club. I don't know if he ever went there. What I do know is, unlike so many of his peers, Roger's has had one wife. He never got busted for drugs, hookers, or shooting his own dang leg in a dang night club. In business he never cheated anyone or cleverly filed bankruptcy for strategic advantage. The day Roger retired from football (March 31, 1980) all of Dallas wanted to talk to him, but he couldn't be found for about an hour. KLIF Radio was playing a tribute song non-stop for him and they desperately wanted to know what he thought of it. Finally, Roger called in and apologized for not phoning sooner. He'd taken his daughters to school... in the family station wagon... listening to an Anne Murray 8track instead of the radio. Glamorous? His name certainly wasn't glowing in "Neon". But I wondered how it felt writing "Roger Staubach" when he endorsed a check for $700,000,000. What's in a name?