The theme song for the award-winning American sit-com, Cheers, goes like this:
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.
You wanna go where people know, people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
The sentiment echoes a feeling shared by many a newcomer settling in a foreign land, adjusting to new norms and different expectations. But even once settled in familiar surroundings with familiar faces, one might experience a similar wistful longing from time to time. When those feelings begin to rise, we can be comforted with the assurance that there is one who knows our name. Worshippers throughout time have found much consolation in their beliefs that, not only does God know our name, he also knows our every thought, and he keeps a record of our tears (imagine that!).
We do need a certain degree of faith, especially in the times in which we live, to be persuaded that such notions were not merely thought up by some philosophically astute minds, but inspired by something—someone—far superior. If we doubt at all that there is a God with a keen interest in each of us on a personal level, maybe we can find some confidence in the faith that has sustained others in times past. Then, when we feel lonely or alienated, like a “fish out of water”, unsure of ourselves because suddenly the rules of the game have changed and we now find ourselves at a disadvantage where before we had the upper hand; when the tide has turned and we no longer find ourselves ahead, but struggling to stay afloat, we may find strength and courage to carry on, as others have before, trusting that there is someone who knows, who cares, and who is more than able to give us peace during our times of uncertainty, insecurity, and emotional unrest or turmoil. Listen, reflect, and take comfort.