“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:14&15
It always amazes me to think about the meaning of one’s name. For as long as I’ve known, my father’s been the sappy type to be sentimental and meaningful about things, and naming my brother and I were no exception. My Chinese name reads “Yu Li-Shin” (尤立馨), which roughly translates to “determined to spread the fragrance of Christ for God”. I remember reading it on a red envelop my aunt had given me when I was about 5, and finally figuring out for the first time what my name meant. I knew it had to have come from scriptures somewhere, but I stashed it in the back of my mind and didn’t make much of it.
We went through 1 Corinthians in small groups this semester, and as I continued through to 2 Corinthians on my own, I finally came upon the scripture reference that inspired my Chinese name. When I think about what it means, I am astounded by the realization that my father basically dedicated my life to the service of His kingdom from day one. The very meaning of my name calls for the purpose to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. This was a neat passage to come upon as I am preparing my heart for my first mission trip to East Asia in an undisclosed location where there are safety and security concerns about the spreading of the gospel. When I think about how I eventually ended up on this summer project, I realize that none of it was really any of my own planning. There are aspects of this trip that terrifies me, but in the last few months the Father has taught me so much, and I continue to be humbled and amazed.
I am feeling so excited right now, and I’m not sure whether that’s because I finished my last finals today, or because the student films I was a part of this year received special honors, or because I’m currently listening to Coldplay, or because my last meal probably wasn’t the healthiest so I’m reaping the benefits of the spastic energy, or because my best friends are coming back from being abroad soon, or I’m actually just insanely excited about the summer. Either way, I cannot fathom the person I will be and all that I will encounter in 6 weeks’ time. I pray that during the times between and after, that I will truly rise to the calling of my name, and live my life in a way that spreads the fragrance of His knowledge and the aroma of Christ.