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The office in my high school was on the first floor, in the center of the building. Once inside the office’s glass door, a large counter stretched almost the entire width of the office, confining students to a relatively small space. A small opening at the end of the counter allowed passage through a swinging door.

Behind the counter sat two administrative assistants. They answered students’ questions, kept student records, and controlled access to the offices of the assistant principal and principal. Students required permission to enter through the swinging door.

For three years (in those days my high school started with the 10th grade), I walked regularly through the swinging door, past the administrative assistants as they looked up (and often smiled), and directly into the principal’s office. When I entered, the principal would inevitably look up, smile, put down his pen, and—although he was responsible for running an entire high school—give me his undivided attention.

The principal was my father. It was my privilege—and still is—to be his son. Walking into his room without “permission” was a privilege that came with sonship. I knew it. My father knew it. Even the faculty and the administrative assistants knew it. I cherished the opportunity and took advantage of it daily.

I miss those daily meetings. My guess is, my father does too.

Today each of my three sons has a cell phone. They call my cell, I answer. I have walked out of meetings, conferences, and even counseling sessions to take their calls. I love hearing their voices.

They’ll call periodically to find out where I am, how my day is going, to update me on their schedule, or to find out what’s for dinner (like I’d know!). They may want to talk about a football game (Eric plays), check if I have a book (Joel is a junior at Calvin), or discuss a recent fire (Brian is a firefighter).

True, most of the time they call, they need something: money, a favor, lunch. That’s OK. They’re not an interruption in my life—they are my life. A day without a conversation with each seems incomplete.

I’ve often wondered how God feels when we fail to step into his “office” to visit or fail to call to talk for days at a time—privileges God has extended to us as his children. I admit, when we talk I often ask for things. But God doesn’t seem to mind. And though he’s responsible for sustaining the entire universe, I always feel like I have God’s undivided attention.

Jesus cherished time with his Father. He often rose early in the morning to pray; sometimes he would spend the evening, even the entire night, talking with his Father.

I’ve learned to cherish time with my Father. Our love relationship flourishes as we make time together a priority; our conversations provide memories I continue to cherish.

Please understand: no one’s voice is sweeter to God than those of his sons and daughters. We have direct access—anytime, anywhere, and for any reason—to the throne room of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe!

In the busyness of life, our relationships with family are often severely tested. We can go days, even weeks, without a meaningful or intimate conversation with those we love the most. We become inundated by the urgent and miss out on what’s important. Weekly worship services, weekly prayer meetings, national holidays for thanksgiving, and National Days of Prayer—like anniversaries, birthdays, family weddings, and funerals—serve as reminders of what’s most important in life: the privilege of prayer.

Like our heavenly Father, I look forward to the next time one of my sons calls.

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