4/3/16 Today was my turn again to write for the church blog after listening to the sermon and this is what I wrote.
Having decided to teach a social networking class this Fall, I spent some time this week cleaning up and adding to my LinkedIn profile. This task has inspired thoughts to roll around in my head for days. God is good, all the time, in that He takes what is already rolling around in my head and manages to correlate it to today's sermon. It never ceases to amaze me how the same sermon can take on different meaning for each listener based on life circumstances.
Attempting to remember everything I have volunteered for and every organization I have been a member over a lifetime is an overwhelming task. I said to my husband, "if we can ever remember it all, it would make a great tool for you to use at my funeral someday." Making a list of accomplishments is similar to writing a life story. I'm finding it quite interesting to reflect on what I have done in my life and ponder whether or not it has been worthy enough thus far. I find it difficult to actually put it in written format as it feels as if I am building myself up, selling myself, talking about myself in third party perspective, and against the very grain of my nature. I am just one big walking failure and yet this profile makes me seem the opposite of my personal view of myself. I make my lists and put it all out there inviting people to judge me. Yikes!
These things are not a person, but rather how society sees a person. The concrete evidence is much easier to express than the person within. The things I have done, my achievements and accomplishments, are not me. In addition, many people tailor-make their profile towards the professional goal in mind, leaving out the inapplicable stuff and including only what they want people to see.
Our sermon today reflected on the tremendous highs and the tremendous lows of Solomon. At age 20 Solomon is allowed to ask for whatever he wants and he asks for wisdom. His life is like a LinkedIn profile with a cycle of Solomon showing wisdom and God blessing Solomon. Solomon has many life accomplishments from building a temple to writing Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and some Psalms. Solomon becomes famous and I can visualize the public recommendation statistics for various skills piling up. Then in the middle of all the good, Solomon messes up in 1 Kings 11:1-8 when his many wives influence him to worship false Gods. Unfortunately, Solomon is not able to tailor-make his fake profile and his lowest of lows are recorded in the Bible for an unimaginable number of people to read for thousands of years onward.
Pastor Mark queried, "How can somebody so wise do something incredibly so stupid?" What a great point for parents to share with their children when correcting them when they mess up. Just because we mess up does not mean we are stupid. Solomon was still wise, yet he still sinned just like all of mankind. We all sometimes feel that the person handing out correction is also saying we are stupid. As a mother, I can assure you that thought was never on my mind. God corrects me, yet does He ever make me feel stupid? Nope, He takes my bad and uses it for good.
The life story of Solomon is no different than my life story. In fact, it is the exact same story. Most all have a desire to do something that makes a difference and is worthwhile. Striving is followed by messing up. However, Solomon's story and my story are not, and never will be, about "my" story. My story is not about me. My life is about the story of God and what He does and how He uses me so that He gets the glory. It really does not matter what I accomplish, or do not accomplish, in life. God does it all; I do nothing. It is about what God does with my incredible highs and my incredible lows to advance His kingdom. Solomon understood this, ""Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." Ecc. 1:2 NIV God is the Famous One and this worldly stuff is meaningless.
God is faithful to His promises. He will use me; He will make me worthwhile; He will make the difference. Stop striving to do something that only God can do. Relax and walk by faith, each step by faith, to live by faith, and to trust God to write His life story in ways far grander than a mind can imagine.