No, I’m not starting a Moby Dick epic.
I just woke up this morning with the name Diotrephes in my head, and I realized that I’m way too much like him.
Remember him? He’s the one that epistle-writing John talks about:
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. – 3 John 1:9
That’s me. I love to be first.
It’s not that I will have nothing to do with the church; quite the opposite. But I do love to be first. I like being recognized for nice things I do, especially at church. I like being complimented and encouraged. I like attention.
(My late uncle Gene Ellmore was known, on at least one occasion, to help someone in charge who was having difficulty quieting a rowdy meeting room by standing up and proclaiming loudly: “Attention! Attention!” When Uncle Gene’s big, booming voice died away, you could hear a pin drop and all eyes were on him. He’d grin, shrug, and say: “I just love attention,” and he’d sit down.)
Being first, being right, and getting all the attention flies in the face of that time-honored “J.O.Y.” principle they used to teach us in Sunday School.
I need a better name. Maybe “Ellmore,” for my uncle … or something like it. Maybe “Elwood.” Like Elwood P. Dowd, who loved his family enough to be willing to give up his dear friend Harvey, the 6-foot white pooka. Or Elwood Blues, who with his brother Jake risked any threat to himself – because they were on a mission from God. Yeah. “Elwood.”
Call me Elwood.