I come from a family that doesn’t like to bother people, and we have that quality to a fault. As a child, when I stood in the doorway of my grandmother’s house and was offered a drink, I knew that the right answer was, “No thank you” (even if I wanted one).
So it may have been a bit of a stretch for my newly Christian mother to believe me when I told her recently that God likes to be bothered. I said, “Mom, you know how most people don’t like you to bother them with your problems? Well, God wants you to bother Him.” “Oh?” she said. So I found a Bible in the house and proved it:
“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble” (Psalm 50:14-15).
This is an odd grouping of commands, even for me—lumping the exhortation to call upon God together with two more expected commands to offer thanksgiving and to perform the vows we make to Him. In my childhood household, we would have read those verses and thought God meant the first two commands but didn’t really mean the last one—He was just being nice. We would have said: “Sure, God, we’ll give you thanks and keep our vows, but don’t worry, we won’t be pests and bother you with our problems.”