On Sunday we will hear about God appearing to young Solomon in a dream and say, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Who needs the lottery! Solomon was granted what most of us can only wish for with the words “Ask anything…” The God who created the universe with merely a thought, brought us up from the dust, and parted the Red Sea asks the young king what he wants.
Can you imagine if that question was posed to you by the Infinite God? Would we be cynical at first? Who me? Is this a test? Wait, what was in those brownies? A plethora of questions pop into my mind immediately, why me? What is going on that you are coming to little nobody me? Did you ask someone else, what did they say? Are there any strings attached? Seriously, anything?
We know from Scripture that throughout history God calls men and women to act, to trust, and to be an active force in bringing His saving message to the mongrels and those who have forgotten the long-ago lessons of their youth. He chooses the little, the weak, and the nobody’s of their time. In this situation, He asks the son of David, the future King of Israel. Unlike me, Solomon lays out the situation he finds himself in governing so vast a people. “Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.”
A brilliant answer which pleased God and He not only granted what Solomon asked, but riches and glory as well.
God is so generous. We can tend to measure and count, after all we never know what could happen and we might need a reserve just to be safe.
“Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” (Lk6:38)
God sets the bar high and reminds us that we cannot out-give Him.
We have found this to be true in our own lives. When we place God first, and entrusted our humble offering to Him, there was always more than enough for us. This is not just about money, but about our very lives. They belong to God anyway. How can we be so selfish when God gives us His all? Everything is a gift from God. Everything. No Barb, I worked hard for this. No, I kept myself healthy and in shape so I would not get cancer. No, I followed all the prescribed rules and that is why I did not get covid.
The problem with that kind of philosophy, is that we think we are in control over the outcome when in fact, we are not. That is why when the very thing we tried to avoid happens to us, we get angry. We target and blame God. Somewhere inside where we do not want to spend too much time pondering, is the actuality that our continued existence relies completely on our heavenly Father.
I propose a solution, that involves God and teaches us to surrender our false notion of control. Entrusting our life and all that is in it over to God actually frees us from the overwhelming weight of it all. As we practice surrendering and detachment from control, a delightful freedom emerges. We become open to the Will of God and are less rigid and self-focused. Think of Mary’s Fiat, “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) Mary did not know what was coming next, nor did she demand details. Like Mary, we will not know every twist and turn that God has planned for us. Surrendering, she became His pliable, willing, and highly effective instrument. Her yes changed history.
So, what holds us back?
If any of us would have been told prior to being born, the trials that our lives would undergo, the lost loves, challenges, and failures, we might have said no thanks. It would have been too overwhelming to bear at once. The little things get us stronger for the bigger challenges. God is here for us at each moment in our life, “ask something and I will give it to you.” Jesus in fact said, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7)
Solomon asked and received because it was not self-seeking, nor was it for selfish gain. It pointed outward towards others and their benefit. This is not to say we cannot pray for our own situation, health, or family. Of course, we must!
How do we ask? Where is our heart? Do we have expectant faith that our request will be heard and answered as God wills? It is important however that we have an openness to how God can use our yes in reaching others too. He invites us to be a small part of the work He is doing here and now.
The other important part of what Solomon asked was to “distinguish right from wrong.” That should be our prayer now more than ever so that we can courageously speak truth into our dark and confusing times.
It is vital to our spiritual life to frequent the Sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist but not before a good Confession. How can we hear what God is asking from us and receive his gifts when we are hiding in fear, afraid to engage humanity? We are called to go forth as Christians into the halls and offices, supermarkets and bars, gatherings of friend and foe.
Yes, God wants to empower us to do mighty and small things to change the climate of hate, confusion, and division. He will make us into saints if we will let Him.
Where are all the saints of today you might ask? They are here, God patiently waits for your yes to change the world.