“What’s in a name?” The wise Solomon suggested, “a good name is to be chosen above riches.” Most muse about the meaning of their name at one point or another. Parents fret over what to name their children and will often refer to books that give the meanings of common names. On my recent trip to Spain I met a couple. The wife’s father happened on a name while walking through a cemetery. There on a gravestone he thought he read the name, “Mentanna.” Years later they walked through that same cemetery and discovered the name was, “Mentaha.” Rather than feel bashful about her name, Mentanna wears the name with great pride.
In the first iteration of my blog I chose the title, “Just Todd.” My friend Mark had titled his first blog, “Just Mark.” Flattery is a compliment. I asked Mark if he minded if I used his idea. Over the past number of years I have used a variety of platforms – Blogger, Typepad and now WordPress. Last summer I thought it time to re-work the blog. My friend David helped set up the new digs. In the process it was time for a new title.
A couple of years ago I was privileged to meet Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest. We had dinner in New Mexico. We toured the Center for Action and Contemplation he founded in Albuquerque. One of the newsletters I picked up to read contained an article by Father Rohr titled, “The Edge of the Inside: The Prophetic Position.” Thoughts of a prophetic position for the pastor of a local church resonated with me. I found the name for the new iteration of my blog.
What is the “edge?” Father Rohr suggests it is liminal space. The space he describes is one where we are moving from old ways of thinking to new ways, the place toward holiness. He notes,
To take your position on the spiritual edge of things is to learn how to move safely in and out, back and forth, across and return. It is a prophetic position, not a rebellious or antisocial one. When you live on the edge of anything with respect and honor, you are in a very auspicious position. You are free from its central seduction, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways. When youÂ are at the center of something, you usually confuse the essentials with the non-essentials, and get tied down by trivia, loyalty tests, and job security, Not much can happen there.
Leading a local church should always leave us looking for the space where we may help others move toward holiness.
More in Pt. 2
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