Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We have recently decided to turn off our satellite TV service. We occasionally get tired of paying high dollar for not much in the way of quality entertainment, so we cut it off. We still have Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV, so it’s not really like we’re going off the grid or anything. 

I’ve found a few ancient shows from the eighties that I decided I would revisit on Netflix. One is Cheers. As soon as the familiar theme song began playing, I felt like I was meeting up with an old friend. 

“Sometimes you want to go…Where everybody knows your name… And they’re always glad you came…”

It’s true. We just mostly want to be where we know people and are known by people. The biggest whine I get from my kids is when I need them to go somewhere where they will not know anyone. They’d rather scrub toilets with a toothbrush. Their toothbrush.

I grew up in a tiny town. At the time, I didn’t know how tiny. I grew up in Pinson, Alabama thinking I knew everyone. I realize, now that I am grown, that I actually did not know every person, but it felt like I did. If I didn’t actually know them, I “knew of them” as my mom would say. 

“Knowing of” someone just means you may know someone who knows someone who might know something about where the person in question works, or goes to church, or whose cousin or daughter they married. Facebook has nothing on life in a small town. You didn’t need a news feed to know everything about everybody. 

Depending on how closely you knew of someone, you could still get favors like a free ice cream cone at Prices Drug store. I didn’t really know Mr. Price personally because he was an adult, but my parents did, so sometimes I could get free stuff like an ice cream cone. 

It’s the whole, “I know a guy who knows a guy” kind of thing, but with small town charm and nosiness. 

The Bible says that God desires to know us and be known by us. God doesn’t just know of us. He knows us. Completely. He still wants us to know him, but many just know of him. He speaks about those folks in the Bible. 

They are the ones who will cry,“Lord, Lord” thinking they know him, but he sends them away saying they really only knew of him. God wants intimacy. He wants relationship. He wants more than church membership and deeds done in His name. He wants every part of us. 

It’s a whole different level of knowing. Really knowing God is like really knowing people. It takes time and an investment of ourselves. But the return pays off like when Norm walked through the door of Cheers… He was home. 

So what do you think?

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