What is in a name?

As a prospect for the club, I rode from Ontario, Canada to Sacramento, California with my sponsor, Patch holder Dirt. It began as a weekend trip to Chicago to meet up with Patch holder Ninja, but it progressively became a trip to meet members around the country. And I knew my role. I was Prospect. When I stayed in California and met with the National Officers, I was Prospect. I had a role and I was expected to fulfill it. I was watched. I was directed. I was monitored. They needed to know who I was and I needed to show them I was worthy of the patch.

In the bible, God changed people’s names on occasion. These changes entailed a new identity that was granted by God himself. Abram (High Father) became Abraham (Father of the Multitude) while his wife, Sarai (My Princess), became Sarah (Mother of Nations). Together, Abraham and Sarah’s offspring formed many nations. It was their new identity and their destiny.

As I read about biblical name changes I was struck by this perspective: After God changed Simon’s name (God has heard) to Peter (Rock), He occasionally referred to him by his old name. It was suggested that God did this because, at times, Simon “acted like his old self instead of the rock God called him to be.”

On a typically hot Sunday afternoon in California we rode out for lunch at a local pizza place. With the members there from the National, I was patched into the club. The leadership had determined that I was no longer Prospect. When I was first called out as Patch Holder, I new that I had a new identity, a new destiny. I wouldn’t have thought there would be such an intrinsic reaction to a name change, but it’s very real, and a true honor in this world.

To many it may seem minor, even juvenile, to put so much emphasis on a patch, on a name change, but there is much more than optics. With the commitment comes responsibility. With the name change comes new privileges. When you are called and entrusted with a name change, life as you know it changes. You are now part of something much larger than yourself and there’s nothing juvenile about being it.

Being in the club means maintaining a standard of a full patch member. But, should I or any other member fail in this, we can be called out as Prospect and start over again because we acted like our “old self.”

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