The Names of Things


In Genesis 2, God gives Adam the task of naming all the animals.

It was our first job.  The primary thing for us to do — to give and keep track of the names of things.

If that job falls now to me, God must be disappointed.

I’m not very good at noticing my surroundings, and I’m terrible at identifying things:

Birds, trees, flowers?  I know a cardinal, a weeping willow, and a rose.  That’s about it.

Clouds?  Automobiles?  They’re both pretty much a blur to me as they pass by.

Constellations? People? So much of the time I can’t seem to pull up the names when I need them.

Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around without my glasses on — only dimly aware of the world around me.

I want to see more clearly. I want to know more names of things. Not just because it’s my job, but because it’s the world I live in.

I want to pick up one of those twirly helicopter seed pod things, and be able to tell you the tree it came from.

I want to meet a person once, and then meet them again 3 months later, and be able to call them by name.

I want be able to tell you the names of all the different birds that have come to our feeder, not just the cardinals.

So how does a person learn to do that? Perhaps faith can help.

2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds me that “we walk by faith and not by sight”.

My faith tells me that God placed the spark of life in all the creatures around me.  That God somehow helped form and shape the world I live in.

It is faith that reminds me that the more I know about God’s creation, the more I know about God.

And so, I rededicate myself to the task of naming the world around me,

learning as I go, knowing that God…

is in the details.

Have a great week,


Helicopter Seed Pod

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