Imagine stumbling upon an old, dusty lamp. You start to rub the dust off with your sleeve when, to your surprise, a genie pops out, offering to grant you a single wish. What would you wish for?"
We've all revelled in the possibility of such an occurrence - a moment where we can choose anything our heart desires. Money, health, happiness - these might top many of our lists. Today, however, we're considering a different wish, a wish for wisdom, through the lens of a well-known biblical figure - King Solomon.
Unlike the desires many of us might instinctively lean towards, King Solomon made a unique request. He didn't ask for wealth, health, or happiness. Instead, Solomon asked for wisdom, to have a discerning heart to govern God's people and discern right from wrong. Why would he do that? Why choose wisdom over wealth or longevity?
To understand this, we must first comprehend what wisdom truly is. It's not simply about being smart or knowledgeable. Wisdom has more to do with understanding and applying knowledge in a meaningful way, with compassion and fairness. It's about discerning the best course of action for the greatest good. It's about choices – the choices we make every day that shape our lives and the lives of those around us.
King Solomon chose wisdom because he knew that, with it, he could lead justly and fairly. His reign is renowned for peace and prosperity, for fairness and justice, underpinned by his wise and discerning heart. His wisdom, encapsulated in biblical books like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, continues to inspire and guide us today. Proverbs 3:5 reads, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." A life lived by these words surely points to wisdom.
But why should this matter to us today? What does a king's wish for wisdom thousands of years ago have to do with our own lives?
Simply put, it's because wisdom is universally valued. It's not bound by age or religion; it's a virtue that can guide all of us, regardless of our faith or lack thereof. And like Solomon, we can choose wisdom to help navigate the challenges we face.
Consider the heartwarming story of world-renowned tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. Faced with the choice of becoming a teacher or a singer, he was given a simple but powerful piece of advice from his father: "Choose one chair." This counsel guided his decision to fully commit to his music, leading him to astounding success. This is the power of wisdom in action - helping us make choices that align with our truest selves.
However, wisdom isn't a one-time choice, nor is it a destination. It's a journey, an ongoing process of learning, understanding, and refining our choices. It's a commitment to walking a path that seeks to bring about fairness, justice, and love.
Whether you're a child dreaming about a wish-granting genie, or an adult navigating the complexities of life, the story of Solomon and the principle of "Choosing Wisdom" offers guidance. It encourages us to take the time to reflect on our desires and our decisions, inviting us to choose not just what is easy or immediately gratifying, but what promotes understanding, compassion, and a better world for all.