What Would You Request For?
From King Solomon's Story.
Given a chance to make one wish, what would you request for today, at this very moment that you’re reading this? It takes me back to the ‘genie in a bottle’ tale. If only you could share with me what crossed your mind. I know many of us would be wealthy by now. Bye bye brokenness! Bye bye debts! Hellooo good life!
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard or read of Solomon’s story and how he became the King of Israel, succeeding his father King David after such a dramatic twist of events. His brother, Adonijah, had already assumed that he would be King and had already started campaigning and celebrating, only for him to be shown who the real King was after Solomon was appointed by the King David himself and he was given all the resources he needed to show the people who really was King.
So after King Solomon’s took over, during one of his visits to the altar, the Lord appeared to and told him to ask for whatever he wants to be given. And what I admire about him is that he had this mammoth of a role and big shoes to fill in, but instead of displaying fear or defeatist attitude, he took it up like a boss and rode with it. But when he was given the opportunity to ask for whatever he wants to be given, he literally stripped himself bare and said,
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1st Kings 3: 7-9
Interestingly, when you read the story, you will realize that, King Solomon did not lobby for the position of King. It was his father, King David, who saw that he was fit to lead, and made a promise that he will succeed him as King. While his brother who lobbied for the position of king and started acting like one when he wasn’t, was not seen as fit for it. I mean, if you pick that situation and put it in our work situation today, do you see how that plays out? That sometimes you can be politicking to get into a certain position and even to some extent forcing yourself on it, and maybe it’s just not meant to be for you. And you can easily find yourself in the Adonijah situation – where the right person checks in and you’re checked out in a humiliating fashion.
Then many times when we are asked what we want, our first instinct is to think of how to enrich ourselves first – we want to dress up and cover up our weaknesses, whether it’s in the form of riches or long life. We forget that we have a greater purpose that is beyond ourselves to fulfill. The moment we realize that, then everything else in our lives starts burgeoning. God already knows that we’re human, and that we want to be wealthy, we want to live long and we want to be respected.
That’s why after King Solomon says what he genuinely desires, that which is standing between him and his purpose and is hindering him from fulfilling it, God is so pleased with him that he says to him,
“Since you have asked for this and not for long life and wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equals among kings.” 1 Kings 3:11- 13
So wherever you are today, ask yourself what your purpose is, and it has to be something that’s beyond yourself. You might not be the president of your country, or the CEO of the company you work for, but you are where you are reason and it’s for you to figure out the reason and start acting on it.
Take Two: Given a chance to make one wish, what would you request for today? Did your answer change or did it remain the same. Ha! Mine changed for sure, because after marinating on what King Solomon did, I started looking at things a little differently. I’ve started seeing things beyond just me, and seeing how I can use my calling to benefit others, either help them solve a problem or make them or their situation better.
Have a fruitful week ahead.