Thursday, April 14, 2011

Solomon: Becoming His Own Man

My reading about the early kings of Israel has officially transitioned into the reign of Solomon.  Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to post about today's reading.  In chapters three through five of I Kings, not much happens.  Today's reading is pretty much three chapters of praise about Solomon's wisdom as a leader.  What do you say about that? He was a wise ruler...the end?

But then I watched a video my wife posted on her blog of our son learning how to crawl.  You can check it out here.  As I watched, I couldn't help but think about how proud we new parents get of the simplest things.  Shepherd turns six months old tomorrow.  If the statistics hold true, that means he's been learning to crawl a bit early, and guess what.  I actually feel a slight sense of pride over that.  Lame, huh.  My son crawled before your child...neener, neener, neener.  Why would I feel pride over that?  Well, I have a theory.

When Shepherd does things (has his eyes wide open during the first minutes of post-gestation period life so he can take in everything, or smiles at just about everyone he sees, or crawls a little early) I can't help but picture his future.  I fully expect that he will be a ridiculously curious child with the drive, audacity, and stubbornness to get into everything.  I wonder if he'll be far more extroverted than I am.  I have a feeling he'll be intelligent and perceptive.  Of course, I don't know any of this for sure, but I certainly can't help but wonder.

One day Shepherd will become his own man, and as with all parents and their children, I can't help but wonder what he'll be like.  I have hopes and dreams, but one day he'll reach a point where he must truly become his own man, and not the man I had pictured.  Sure, there might be similarities between those two images, but there are going to be differences as well.  I Kings chapters three through five share the story of Solomon becoming his own man.  He is no longer under the shadow or guidance of his father.  He must now stand alone.  What we find is that Solomon is an impressive man in his own right.

He is politically savvy.  He is concerned for his people.  I was thinking today that even though Solomon is considered wise because God says he will make him wise, asking for wisdom to rule is a pretty wise thing.  In other words, God had a solid foundation on which to build.  He didn't turn a fool into a genius.  As those of us who have read the whole story know, Solomon is far from perfect, and in the end his own propensity for political intrigue does him in, but when Solomon leaves childhood behind and becomes his own man, he could have done far worse.

I don't expect Shepherd to turn into a Solomon, and I would hate to think about what that type of pressure would do to his formation, but he could to far worse than to end up like Solomon.  Hopefully I wont be like David and pass on before Shepherd comes into his own.  I'd love to see what God does with my son.

Stopping point: I Kings 5

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