Saturday, July 8, 2017

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

NECESSITY is the mother of Invention. Invention's father is a guy named Bob. Bob told me he wanted to name his daughter Mary, but Necessity wouldn't hear of it. She had her mind set on "Invention."

Bob tried to reason with her:

•None of the other kids in school will be named 'Invention.'

 •Boys attempting to write her Valentine poems will be forced to use words like intention, declension or detention.

"I'd spend two hours in detention,
If I could be with you, Invention."

•Or her friends will call her Venti, and she'll be humiliated when a middle school boy discovers that at Starbucks, Venti means "very large."

But Bob's arguments were unpersuasive. Necessity was determined.

After giving the matter the thirty seconds of thought that such matters demand ("That's pretty much your thought limit, isn't it Rusty?--PB)  I realized that surely Necessity must have been teased about her OWN name. Kids at school would have called her "Nessie," which not only rhymes with "messy," but is the chosen name of the Loch Ness monster.

Having been a boy once myself, I'm pretty sure that Necessity has at least one entry in a school yearbook that reads, "Messy Nessie, the Locked Neck Monster."

One would think that having been saddled with a name like Necessity would be enough to convince a mother NOT to give her daughter an unusual name, but that's what makes this matter interesting (ok, maybe not to you, but to some people, somewhere.)

I consulted the noted professor who succeeded his late father as the Chair of Psychology at the University of Hamburg, Dr. Yerguess Asgoodasmien.

"Dr. Asgoodasmien, thank you for taking the time to Skype with me."

"You are qvite velcome, but Please, call me Yerguess."

"All right, Yerguess. You told me you have a possible explanation for Neccessity's insistence on giving her daughter a name as unusual as her own."

"It may seem odd behavior, but it is actually qvite vell attested in ze literature on ze subject. Havink struggled since childhood vith a strange name herself, this voman, Necessity, beliefing her success in life vas due, in part, to her own struggle (Mein Kampf, as Der Fuhrer put it), determined she vould gif her daughter ze same (vhat I haf coined) "beneficial handicap."

"Beneficial handicap?"

"Correct. Her refusal to give her daughter a normal name like Maria vas in fact (in her eyes) an act of love, for vhich Invention should be forever grateful."

"Thank you so much for shedding light on this for us, Dr. Yerguess. You've been most helpful. Before we end the interview, I'm curious about your own name. You may be the first Yerguess I have met. Is that name more common in Germany?"

"Nein!  No von else has such a name. It's a name vith vitch mein fadder cursed me!  Surely he must have hated me vith a wengeance."

"May I ask, vhat vas--- I mean, what was your father's first name?"

"Papa's first name vas Yeranswers, vith middle initial R."

"Hmmm. So his full name was  Yeranswers R. Asgoodasmien."

"Yah, dat is correct."

"Did you ever think that perhaps, as an educator, it would have been a challenge for him to overcome the handicap of his own name?  Whenever he attempted to correct a student's answer, he would be likely to hear, 'I thought MY answers were as good as yours?'  He had to overcome the challenge of his own unusual name.  Maybe that's why he gave you an uncommon name?"

"You mean you tink maybe he intended the name Yerguess to be a 'Beneficial Handicap?'" 


"This I nefer considered. Perhaps you are right!  Perhaps mein fadder loved me all ze time!"

The Apostle Paul had a handicap---a thorn in the flesh that made his labors for Christ especially difficult. There are reasons to believe it was some sort of eye disorder.  The Bible calls it "a messenger of Satan to harass him." Satan's intention was no doubt to discourage or disable Paul. But God permitted it for His own purposes.

Three times Paul prayed the Lord would deliver him from this affliction----presumably these were separate seasons of special intercession, but the answer he received by revelation from the Lord was "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect (shows itself most clearly, you might say) in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12)

Paul understood that his handicap, intended by the enemy for evil, was, at the same time, permitted by the Lord for good. It was to prevent him from "becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations" that were committed to him. His physical affliction was a continual reminder of his own weakness, and his utter dependence upon God's grace and mercy. A professor I know would call it a "beneficial handicap."

Perhaps you have one, an affliction or persistent trial which might have seemed at first only harmful, but which you recognized upon reflection, as coming from the  loving hand of your heavenly Father, both to benefit you and to glorify Him.

If it has not arrived yet, it is safe to say that affliction is on its way. It may be something as minor as hours in detention without your friend Invention, or it may be more monstrous---like a locked neck. But if your faith is in Christ, you can be assured that whatever the trial, God will work it for good in your life. (Romans 8:28) If you wonder what your particular trial will be, as a professor friend of mine likes to say, "your guess is as good as mine."

No comments:

Post a Comment