At the very end, I was left with three very core ideas that drive my life: Freedom, Rest and Risk, and my friend (whom you can learn more about here, by the way) asked me if there was an image or word or phrase that encapsulated those three core aspects of who I am. Funny thing is, an image immediately came to mind. It was the one on the right. But I couldn't accept it. It seems too grandiose to me. Too big.
I hesitated a bit, then finally mumbled out the word "warrior," but then quickly added that it wasn't quite right, and I would have to think about it some more. But then (it's so good to have friends who really know you), another friend of mine who was present said, "When Gary asked you that question, what came to me was the name Aragorn."
And I thought, "Holy crap. That's it." Not just any warrior. Aragorn.
My True Name is Aragorn.
It's a difficult thing to accept your True Name, even if that name comes to you directly from God. That's because your True Name is always bigger than you think you are, or can be. It's always a scary business, this living out your unique God-given identity. You can't live small and be your true self. You can't hide in the shadows. You can't pretend. It's a vulnerable, naked thing. As Eldredge writes in Waking the Dead:
The deeper reason we fear our own glory is that once we let others see it, they will have seen the truest us, and that is nakedness indeed. We can repent of our sin. We can work on our “issues.” But there is nothing to be “done” about our glory. It’s so naked. It’s just there—the truest us. It is an awkward thing to shimmer when everyone else around you is not, to walk in your glory with an unveiled face when everyone else is veiling his...
Finally, our deepest fear of all . . . we will need to live from it. To admit we do have a new heart and a glory from God, to begin to let it be unveiled and embrace it as true—that means the next thing God will do is ask us to live from it. Come out of the boat. Take the throne. Be what he meant us to be. And that feels risky . . . really risky. But it is also exciting. It is coming fully alive. My friend Morgan declared, “It’s a risk worth taking.”
Vulnerable? You bet. But definitely a risk worth taking.