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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why God Didn't Give Us Children

If you believe in a Divine Entity, then you believe that He or She holds supernatural power over us mere mortals.  Holy books such as The Bible, as well as myths, fables, and legends, constantly depict omnipotent beings influencing the lives of their creations.  Whether they step in to prevent a war, to endow a person with superhuman strength, or to make a virgin pregnant, the Divine guide our lives, and influence the rise and fall of nations.  While one may take steps to frustrate God's plans, one cannot escape destiny.

My wife and I might have taken certain precautions, at various points in our marriage, to prevent having children.  But if God could open Hannah's barren womb, surely He could have given my wife an appreciation for pickles.  As that glorious event never occurred, I can only assume God didn’t trust us with children.  While we both have our theories, I have to wonder if the chief reason He never blessed us in that way was because He simply didn’t approve of the names we might have given them.

Let’s face it: names have significance.  When Jacob goes twelve rounds with God one night, pummeling the Omnipotent One with the patriarchal equivalent of Body Presses, Bronco Busters, and Clotheslines, he does so because he’s tired of being known as Jacob, the deceiver.  So God relents and gives him a new name, Israel, meaning “one who wrestles with God.”  (He also gives Jacob a limp to remember Him by).  History and myths have given us unforgettable names like Hercules, Jupiter, Caesar, and Lancelot that still resonate with us.  And then there are great names from Fiction that tell us something about a given character.  Consider Simon Templar as The Saint.  Darth Sidious.  Doctor Who.  Rumpole of the Bailey.  Bilbo Baggins.  Sherlock Holmes.  Vlad Taltos.  Stephen King.  Okay, maybe the last one’s real, but they’re all evocative. 

So what’s my point?  Why do I think God disapproved of the names that my wife and I might have chosen for our children?  Well, my wife and I still think that Chocolate would have been a terrific name for our first child.  After all, it’s my wife’s favorite food, and my second-favorite.  Nor are we alone in our feelings, as most everyone likes chocolate.  So not only would we have ample reason to love our child, but the rest of the world would as well.  Strangely, Chocolate remains a rare first name, at least in the United States.  Since most people’s eyes light up when they hear the word, I can only assume its lack of popularity originates with the Divine.  After all, naming a child is just the first step in a never-ending list of parental responsibilities.  So we're left to wonder.  Did we fail before we could begin?  Had we intended on giving our child a more conventional name, such as Ricky or Lucy or Fred or Ethel, might God have then entrusted us with a child? 

We may never learn the answers to such questions, at least as long as we exist in this mortal realm, but somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair.  After all, it’s not like our child couldn’t have gone by a middle name when he or she got older.  In fact, that seems a fairly common practice for people not enamored with their first names.  We even had a few awesome middle names picked out.  Did you realize that over eleven thousand women in the United States are named Cherry?  And what about Chip?  Wouldn't Chip be a great middle name for a guy?

Hey, it’s not like we were going to name our first child Ice Cream.  Now that'd just be silly.

Dragon Dave

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