We often think of Solomon as old and wise. We forget that when he first became king he was neither. It was the prayer in today's reading that transformed his life. And what did he pray for?
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
That's it! Nothing more complicated. Let's not forget that a primary job of the king was to serve as the judiciary. But to just be able to distinguish right from wrong seems too simple. Can't any of us do that?
We should be able to. Not only do we have a conscience, which God has given every person. Those of us who are baptized also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and God's grace to assist us.
We have gifts that Solomon could never have imagined. We only have to use the resources that we have. Most of all we have to practice. Day by day, decision by decision we must practice seeing through the fog of our desires, our prejudices, and in everything allow God to show us the truly right thing to do at that moment.
And we have to apply this principle not only to morals but to every decision. What is the right way for me to spend my time this morning? What is the right thing for me to eat? At every moment to distinguish right from wrong.
A part of wisdom is recognizing the brevity of our lives on earth. We cannot afford to waste a single minute. That doesn't mean we should work all the time because rest and relaxation are a part of what make our lives truly human.
May God give each of us today the ability to distinguish right from wrong.