The Bible tells us how God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him to ask whatever he liked. God assured him that all would be granted to him.
It is written that Solomon did not ask for wealth, or health, or victory over his enemies, but a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, in order to govern well his people.
God was pleased and granted Solomon a heart as shrewd and as wise as none before and even after him.
Solomon’s account invites us to be wise in what we choose to do with our lives.
Very often we fail in this, but it remains very important to know how to make right choices in whatever we do or we intend to do. It is equally important to get our priorities right.
Many great people mention right choice and the ability to prioritise as the reason for their success. One of them is Dwight D. Eisenhower who said: “The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to manageable proportion.”
Every time we fail to do these two things properly, our life becomes burdensome. We give an impression of doing too much just because we fail to cop up. That way we can hardly succeed in whatever we do, simply because we lack order and personal discipline.
The example of Solomon teaches us as well that the inability to make right choices and to put things in order of priority does not only hinder us to succeed in life, but it develops bad habits.
One such bad habit is procrastination. This is essentially putting something off. We lack courage to start on an important job and keep on postponing it.
In his teachings, Jesus mentioned several times, the importance of making our choices well and of getting our priorities right in our life.
In the parables of the treasure and of the pearl (Mt.13:44), he mentions that if someone reasonable finds a treasure hidden in a certain field, he or she shall go off happy, sell everything he or she owns and go and buy that field.
In the same line, Jesus talks of a merchant who finds a pearl of great value. He too will sell everything he owns and buy it.
Perhaps today in order to understand what Jesus meant it is necessary to keep in mind both the context and the background of what he was saying.
In the time of Jesus there were many stories about treasures hidden in fields. In those days wars and invasions by foreign armies were fairly frequent so people often had to flee from danger.
Hence, they would bury their valuables in their fields, hopping to recover them when the danger passed. But as it happens everywhere, some did not make it back.
Their fields would then be taken by others who ignore the value of what they owned. That is why Jesus was saying that one day a passer-by might notice that treasure, covet it, and go to any lengths in order to get it.
It is in the same vein above that Jesus says that whoever finds the kingdom of God has discovered a great treasure which deserves to be first on the list of one’s priorities. And it is worthy for one to give up everything in order to have it.
In other words Jesus is telling us today that we were offered such an opportunity when we first came across the message of the Gospel, the greatest of treasures, the most beautiful of all pearls. Have we reacted accordingly?
That is the question. Or we are like the owners of a field who may work it for a long time without ever knowing about the treasure it contains?