Tuesdays I spend the morning volunteering at our local Adventist schools. My role isn’t a major one—I teach a bit of grammar twenty minutes apiece to grades 5 and 6, and I grade papers for teachers who request it. I also read picture-books in three different classrooms comprising grades Kindergarten through 4.
This Tuesday morning I was crossing the parking-lot space between the school and its athletic field, right about the time a little group of first- and second-graders were emerging from their classroom. By this time I’d crossed the parking lot and was some distance away, but they emitted delighted squeals of “Pastor Maylannnnn! Pastor Maylannnnn!”
I turned and grinned, and waved to them, and others in their group took up the cry. I waved again, and I held onto that grin—couldn’t get it off my face–all the way into the building I was heading toward, and halfway down its hall.
Later in the morning I thought back to that absolutely heartwarming scene. I don’t have kids, but in a way, these little folks are my kids on Tuesdays. I look forward to getting together with them every week.
And then, I thought of God. Does anybody ever greet Him with such cries of delight? If it’s true—as Jesus referred to Him at least 200 times in the Gospels—that God is our Father, then wouldn’t He appreciate such a joyous reception once in awhile?
David knew how to greet God with this kind of delight. Sure, some of his Psalms were written as a hunted cave-dweller begging God for justice and even vengeance, but listen to the openings of some of his calmer Psalms:
“O Lord my God, in You I put my trust . . . .” Psalm 7
“O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth . . . .Psalm 8
“I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.” Psalm 9
“I will love You, O LORD, my strength.” Psalm 18
“The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD; And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” Psalm 21
And we could go on. And about those cry-for-justice Psalms? Almost always, once David had vented his feelings, he returned to fervent praise again.
With the cries of “Pastor Maylannnnn!” still ringing in my ears, I’m resolving to express the same kind of adoring appreciation when I talk to God!