My Namesake: Warrior or Worrier?

Warrior-posterIt’s funny, my name means warrior, but for so many years, I was a worrier. What’s not so funny about that is that a warrior who worries is not a very effective warrior. I guess you could call me a timid warrior.

My next door neighbor for years died after getting a liver transplant. This came from complications stemming from Hepatitis C. He more than likely contracted that while fighting in Vietnam.

He invited me next door one day and I stayed for hours as he broke ranks and shared some of his stories with me, a civilian. I wish I recorded them. Vince was a good man.

He shared with me being on a mission to free a fellow soldier who was taken captive. When they crossed paths with the opposing forces who had his friend, a chase broke out. It was either him or the other guy. Until the other guy hesitated just long enough.

On the battlefield, the warrior who hesitates first is the warrior that hesitates last.

So today, as we discussed in church the many names of Jesus as we head towards Christmas and God with us, I began to reflect on my own name.

Gunnar Jon Simonsen.

My grandfather sailed into Ellis Island from Bergen, Norway in 1904. My name was going to be Everett, but instead, I got Gunnar. And to keep it all in-house, I got Jon for my middle name as well. My brother Eric, coincidentally got John. Not sure why they didn’t go with Erik Jon for him, but oh well.

What I know about the name Jon is this:

It means Jehovah has been gracious; has shown favor. I never knew that until I actually took the time this very moment to look it up. I mean, it’s just a middle name, right?

And for the record from what I have at least researched, Gunnar means battler; warrior. Then of course, there’s my last name Simonsen which is a surname for son of Simon. Simon meaning from the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Shim’on which meant, he has heard.

Am I reading all this right?

In this, I ponder beyond that I imagine my parents ever pondered in giving me at least my first and middle name. Can we name names in such a way that we are speaking forth something bigger than ourselves and we don’t even know it?

And with this even more so, am I, or rather have I.. lived up to this name?

If I am honest, no.

Being a worrier and not a warrior seems to be one who lacks faith. Always second guessing or waiting for the other shoe to drop. And if one has truly heard, one will be forever changed. But the glue that holds it all together between the first and last in that Jehovah has been gracious and has shown favor. When one experiences this, the favor of God, how do we ever turn back? How is not all of this fuel for the fire that feeds the drive of a warrior?

So now I consider this:

What have I heard and how has He shown me favor? Once I fully grasp this and/or receive its embrace not to take it for granted, should not the worrier inside me give way to the warrior that awaits me?

Hmm. Maybe this explains a lot more than I ever knew? Maybe this explains a whole lot of why?

I’ll ponder this further as I look at this link of scripture verses about warriors.

By the way, for the record, the name Everett means Hardy; brave. Either way, it’s time I start living up to something more so than I have been. The time is now.



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