Sunday, July 24, 2005


'el Daq Daj lojmItmey tlhej tlho'taHghach, Daq Daj bo'DIjmey tlhej naD. nob tlho' Daq ghaH, je ghurmoH Daj pong.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

podcast version

Take a moment to consider the last door you went through. Was it an exit or an entrance? Were you happy or upset to use it? Maybe you didn't notice it at all - it all depends on the circumstances. A child may dread the first day of a new school, may even be dragged into it - yet years later the same student may be more upset to be leaving that place for the last time.

What makes the difference? I think it can be a matter of perspective that comes from our attitude, an attitude that may be tied up in one word: tlho'taHghach - thankfulness.

Go to Tel Aviv, or Jerusalem today and you'll hear this word in the shops and on the street. Between friends or business associates.- the same word used in Psalm 100 - todah - "thanks!".

[People are sometimes surprised that Klingons have some words. Peace is one (roj) and thanks is another. To say "thank you" simply add qa- (the prefix for I - something -you) and add tlho'. qatlho', I thank you.]

To express this word, this idea of thankfulness, I extended the word a bit more: tlho'taH (on going thank-ing) plus the -ghach suffix to make a noun of 'the process of on-going thanks': tlho'taHghach - thankfulness.

Maybe this is a clumsy way to express it, but it is key to the attitude we need when approaching God's lojmItmey, his gates.

There is a Klingon saying that shows a negative attitude about gates - looking at them as EXITs not entrances.

yIvoq 'ach lojmItmey yISam
Trust: but locate the doors.

This counsels that 'gates' are the method to get away if your trust is misplaced. Cynical advice indeed - certainly not built on an attitude of thankfulness.

This is not the Biblical approach. Psalm 100 is about coming to God with joy, with delight, with THANKS. This is not always easy, I admit, yet it is a key that lets us see "Daj lojmItmey," (his gates) as the pathway to delight.

Paul writes something that fits in here when he reminds the Philippians (and us) that the way to peace with God, the way to approach him in prayer - the way to enter his gates - is with thanks:

In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. phil 4:6,7


scooter said...

Quite apropro, as Katrina and I are entering through new doors with our new children. Peace to you, bro - your dedication to this project is a true blessing to me.

Joel said...

Thanks! And congratulations to you and yours - what an adventure, and what great kids!