"O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?" - 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
A dear pastor friend asked me for a children's sermon idea on Saul becoming blinded while on his way to persecute Christians, regaining his vision, and then becoming the great apostle Paul.
The children's sermon was to be used during an afternoon Vacation Bible School, to give the teachers a brief break. I suggested blindfolds. He tried it: kids became disoriented, bumping into each other like bumper cars; some were distressed because they couldn't put on their blindfolds; many began to cry. Desperate, the pastor called the teachers back from break early.
Since then, my pastor friend has not asked me for another children's sermon idea.
We sometimes pray as if we know what we need. But our uninformed prayer focus is often like blindfolding ourselves, getting into our cars and driving someplace new.
Young Solomon, who inherited his father David's throne, does not pray for armies, or chariots, or concubines. Recognizing these as blindfolds, he prays for wisdom to lead the nation, which God grants, making him Israel's wisest leader.
Solomon first recognizes his powerlessness before God. Second, he honors and believes in the greatness of his people. Third, he asks for God's wisdom, the 20/20 vision he needs beyond human knowledge.
This is not only a wise formula for leaders; it is a wise formula to lead each day. So what's it going to be today? Blindfold or God's 20/20 vision?
Gracious God, please lead and guide me as I make choices today. Please lead me in right paths, away from every wrong path, and make my life a blessing for your realm on the earth. Amen.
Ron Buford is the former coordinator of the UCC's God is still speaking campaign and appears in the DVD-based progressive theology series, Living the Questions 2.0.