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  • Psalm One Hundred Seventeen

    Praise the Lord, our God, all nations,
    Praise the Lord, our God, all people of the earth.
    Great is His mercy and kindness to mankind.
    His truth endures beyond the end of time.
    Praise the Lord, our God.

    Simple. Direct. To the point.

    Do you have one of those friends who takes forever to get to the point?

    I have an ex-daughter in law who can take 30 minutes or more to ask me for a favor or ask me how the family is. I swear the girl's mind is more convoluted than peas in a blender. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly. But I do wish she would learn how to get to the point.

    I remember going to traffic court in San Diego while I was driving a cab while attending SDSU. The bailiff came out ahead of the judge and gave a very specific and somewhat entertaining speech to the crowd of defendants assembled in an auditorium that would rival most high schools. He explained the judge would be hearing pleas, and the his hearing was limited to three phrases: “Guilty” “Not Guilty” and “Guilty with an explanation”. Comically, he clamped his hand over his mouth for the phrase in italics. He then went on to explain since the judges time was limited, anyone uttering the third phrase would be asked to take a seat on a bench in the front and wait until after the remaining defendants had been taken care of.

    I didn't get an exact count, but I believe there were about 300 people seated in the auditorium that day. When the judge came out, he repeated the instructions, and added if there were any people who had what he described as a “burning desire” to tell him their story, he was happy to stay and listen, since it made up the “entertainment” portion of his day.

    Since they were calling us in alphabetical order, I was near the end of the list. I wasn't surprised to see only a few of my co-defendants had opted for the third plea. I plead Not Guilty, paid my bail, got my court date, and left thinking the judge would have his share of entertaining stories and be home in time for dinner. (By the way, 3 weeks later, I won the case. The officer was a no-show.)

    The point of that story is knowing when to talk and when to listen. The proceeding was an arraignment. If you wanted to tell your story to the judge, he was more than happy to hear it, but the end results were the same. If he felt your story merited a day in court, he sent you in to arrange bail and get a court date. If he felt you were guilty, he sent you in to pay the fine. As the arraignment judge, he was not allowed to decide to let you go. So the explanation, as entertaining as it may be, was a waste of time. Better to get to the point.

    That's usually the best thing to do with prayer as well. God, being Omniscient (All knowing), is aware of your needs before you speak them. God knows our hearts, since the indwelling Spirit is God and lives within us.

    Now since He is God, I have no doubt He could deal with us all at once. But somewhere in the back of my mind I think about that auditorium and that judge, and wonder how many of us are making up the entertainment portion of God's day.

    Better to get to the point.

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