What if God invited you to ask him for whatever you want and he would give it to you? What would you say?
Young King Solomon of Israel knew what to say. He asked for wisdom to govern. This pleased God so much that he also gave the young man riches and honor (1 Kings 3:1-14, New Living Translation).
Sure enough, Solomon’s wisdom brought him fame. As a powerful politician, he lived at peace with the nations around him. As a master builder, he erected beautiful palaces for himself and his wives and a magnificent Temple to God. A hard worker, he pursued his every interest with a passion. A wealthy man, he denied himself nothing.
Yet when his life was nearly over, he looked back and wrote, “Everything is meaningless … utterly meaningless” Ecclesiates 1:1).
How sad! He had spent his life on everything the world had to offer, and in the end, felt all that he had achieved and acquired meant nothing.
How different life was for Paul, who lived centuries later. Called to spread the Good News about Jesus Christ, Paul never wavered. Leaving everything behind, he traveled the known world and pursued his life’s work of knowing, loving, and serving God with a passion. He knew times of joy and suffering, poverty and plenty, but he never abandoned God’s purpose for his life.
When the time of his death drew near, he wrote, “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God … I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul was satisfied. From the moment of his calling, he had spent his life well. He had made a meaningful difference in this world and looked forward to receiving his eternal reward.
- Is a life of knowing, loving, and serving God and others worthwhile? Yes!
- Can we do this in the midst of our everyday circumstances? Yes!
- If we do, will we come to the end of life satisfied with how we spent our time on earth? Yes!
- And it’s never too late to begin.
Even Solomon–though he lived for pleasure–was wise enough in the end to realize the truth and leave the following advice.
Focus: “Fear (hold in high esteem) God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of every person” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13, New Living Translation.
What about you? If God invited you to ask him for anything you wanted, what would you say? How might that affect the rest of your life?