It’s a dream that we’d all love to have. God appears to us and says, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
That’s what happened to Solomon. Solomon had gone to worship God. Solomon had offered a thousand sacrifices. So Solomon’s heart and actions are already oriented toward God.
But we can imagine that question at different times:
When David’s son was ill and he was praying night and day for him, the answer to the question “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” would be, “My son. I want the life of my son.”
When someone is brought to the ER after an accident or a heart attack, if God appeared to the spouse or the parent, the answer to the question “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” would be, “one more conversation” or “let me take back that argument” or “a miracle. I simply want a miracle.”
But let’s step back from the urgency, from the crisis. If we were six months before that crisis, our answer might be different:
“God, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next six months. But what I want is to make sure that I’m making the most of every conversation with my family. I want to make the best decisions about relationships and choices about behavior. I want to recognize every time you invite me to do something and follow you.”
In those moments, we might sound more like Solomon. “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”
If we did that now, what are the things that we might avoid in six months? What are the conversations that we wouldn’t regret? What are the relationships that might be healed?
So maybe we should try, even if we don’t have a dream, offering this request to God: “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” We might have the wisdom of Solomon, too.