A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant. Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said, 'For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.'
The wife answered, 'Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband. The fairy waved her magic wand and - poof! - two tickets for the cruise ship Queen Victoria appeared in her hands.
The husband thought for a moment: 'Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I'm sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.”
The wife and the fairy were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof! The husband became 92 years old.
What do you want from me? When Solomon was asked by God that question, he did not hesitate in his response. Instead of answering from what he wanted or what he needed, he replied from God’s standpoint by saying, “O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant.”
Therein lies one of the secrets of Christianity: God is always the beginning of our wants and needs because God is always the end of what we want and what we need. Our prayers are answered and our wishes are granted when they begin with and from God. Jesus Himself said so because God knows more than what we know.
Therein also lies one of the secrets of Christian morality. To live rightly and justly means to look from and through the eyes of God. We will always see and find mistakes in others when we judge from our own perspectives. All of us are given the same gift. All of us are guided by the same Spirit. All of us are loved by the same God. There is no reason to compare when there is no excuse to despair.
However, we may have the hindsight, but not the sight. We may have the sight, but not the foresight. We may have the foresight, but not the insight. We overlook what is already there before us. We take for granted what was already given to us. We miss the obvious.
It is obvious that the kingdom of heaven is more precious and more valuable than all our wisdom, treasures and gifts. It is obvious that the kingdom of God is in the here and now. It is obvious that Jesus is inviting us all to His kingdom.
Whenever we question that all of us are called according to his purpose, whenever we doubt that for those of us who love God, all things work for good and whenever we forget that God wants to share with us more than what we desire, then we need to pray for wisdom like Solomon did.
Solomon’s wisdom brought him to pray for a heart of understanding and not want for a long life for himself. Solomon’s wisdom brought him to pray for a heart above and beyond reason and crave not for riches. Solomon’s wisdom brought him to pray for a heart of love nestled like a treasure and wish not for the life of his enemies.
We know how the story of Solomon ended. We also know how the story of Solomon began. But more so, we know that when he made his request, the Lord was pleased. He gave him more than he wanted.
24 July 2011