Finding Significance

Today’s reading: 1Kings 10-11 Acts 8:26-40

As we begin our reading for today we find Solomon enjoying the blessings of his success. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. The fame of Solomon and stories of his wisdom had spread to distant lands. The queen of Sheba had come to see for herself if it was all true and was amazed by his wisdom, skills of leadership and organization. It is fitting that we should desire and strive for success in all our undertakings, but with great success comes great risk. In the early days of his reign, Solomon recognized his vulnerability and asked God for wisdom. Now he finds himself well established and comfortable in his role as king. Do you remember how serious you were and how much concentration it took when you first learned to drive a car? We maintained a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel and checked the gauges with the repetition of a robot while we simultaneously strained to focus all the concentration that could be mustered on the task of driving. How much concentration do you put into it now? What changed? Could it be that we now approach the task with many successful trips to our credit? We know where the controls are by memory and have developed valuable skills that have been acquired by experience. We, like Solomon, now find ourselves more comfortable and confident in what has become familiar. When coupled with a measure of pride, familiarity often conceals risk. I have a long commute each day and see the same people as I travel. There are several that have become so confident in their abilities that they ‘multitask’ as they drive. One guy, that drives a silver Honda, sits sideways as he reads a newspaper and holds a coffee mug. Most of the younger commuters never make eye contact but seem focused on something they are holding at the bottom of the steering wheel. My favorite one is the young mother that puts on her makeup, talks on her cell phone and feeds her baby breakfast as she hurries down the road. Solomon was so good at what he did he could multitask. He didn’t need God’s direction any longer. Since he was so successful it was only proper the he be rewarded for his special talent. Like so many that want others to appreciate their hard work and great level of success Solomon began to indulge himself with exotic and expensive hobbies. It is important that these types of lavish displays of self indulgence greatly exceed what others have so they will have the desired impact on those they are intended to impress. Today those who have found great success often buy works of art, rare vehicles, highly visible business or banks, while others collect artifacts or antiquities. Solomon collected 700 wives and 300 concubines. He married women who worshiped other gods. He married women from nations that God had decreed off limits who influenced him to follow after foreign gods. Solomon, the man of great wisdom, the one who had heard God speak on two occasions, the one who built the great temple, now builds places of worship for foreign gods to appease his wives. Solomon did not finish well.
Solomon focused on success, to the neglect of significance. We should endeavor to obtain success in all we do but never loose sight of the source of our victory. Success and its fruits are enjoyable but significance is that to which we have been called.

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About Richard McGill

Hi, my name is Richard McGill and my family and I started attending CCC shortly after moving to the area eighteen years ago. Although eighteen years may sound like a long time it has past by so quickly. My wife, Sharon, and I have seen our four children grow and have twice experienced that bitter sweet day when we have loosened our grasp so that our children, could begin families of their own. Sharon and I have been more than rewarded for our sacrifices in that we again, on occasion, have in our home the squeals of laughter that only comes from innocence and youth. We revel in the titles that have been bestowed by sweet little voices and thrill to hear them say Papa and Memaw. In addition to our two married children we have two that are preparing for their future through education. Jenny is finishing her sophomore year at SIU and Alex will graduate from high school this spring. Throughout the past eighteen years I have been privileged to serve in several capacities at CCC. I have been a small group leader, greeter, usher, in the Easter production, on the worship team and have taught Sunday School. While I am honored to be asked to contribute to this most recent effort, I can’t help but wonder if they’re not still trying to find something that I am good at. View all posts by Richard McGill

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