Here’s a little mind teaser. What do an 1809 A.D. Frenchman, a musical instrument, Napoleon, the Civil War, General Dan Butterfield, all soldiers, evening time, funerals and you ALL have in common? The answer–TAPS.
This 24 note melody written by a Frenchman in 1809 was Napoleon’s favorite bugle call. It fell out of use in America just prior to the Civil War but was revised by General Butterfield and adopted back in to use at evening time to remind soldiers that it was time for ‘lights out’. We commonly hear it played at funerals for servicemen or special dignitaries. I can still remember hearing that ‘quivering lip bugle call’ at President Kennedy’s funeral.
O.K., but what does that have to do with me, you ask. Simply this. King David, in Psalm 145, says this: ‘I will exalt you my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever’. He means, by this, that each of his days included in it a prepared time for personal praise: a practice that he intended to extend throughout the length of his lifetime and beyond. In other Psalms you read of David’s use of morning, evening and even night times of praise.
Now, if we followed David’s example, and employed the word ‘TAPS’ as an acronym, we can find a practical way of preparing and offering praise to God everyday. Let’s take each letter and form a word that we can use to help remind us of the preparation and participation of our souls in daily praise to our God.
First, ‘T’ reminds us to pick a specific ‘TIME’ to praise the Lord. Morning or evening matters little. It’s the DOING that matters. ‘A’ reminds us to choose a specific ‘ACTION’ in praising God. We might offer praise in prayer or perhaps in written form or in some musical way. The point is to be specific with ‘an action’ of praise. Next, the letter ‘P’ reminds us to select a special ‘PLACE’ to worship. Often private worship affords us a more intimate setting in which to meet with the Lord. We find there fewer distractions–watching eyes, normal crowd noises, cell phone interruptions, etc.–to lure our minds away from the simple exaltation of the Lord. Finally, the letter ‘S’ reminds us to find a ‘SONG’ or a ‘SCRIPTURE’ to use in our action of praising God. With so many excellent praise songs and inspired scriptures to use, there is virtually an endless supply of praise material to choose from as you select your offering to the Lord.
So, let’s make our choices and sometime each day play ‘TAPS’ to our God and Savior.