"Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good & evil; for who can govern this your great people?"
(1 Kings 3:9)
When David died, his son Solomon succeeded him as king. One night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted. What a question! God basically gave him a blank check and invited Solomon to write in whatever he wanted. It could've been wealth & riches, fame & posterity, love & legacy, vengeance & retribution for his enemies, etc. The sky was the limit! Instead, Solomon asked for wisdom to lead & govern the people. And God was pleased with this response.
Following Pastor Jim Powell at Palmdale UMC is kind of like following King David. Both had an amazing legacy... both were much beloved... both walked closely with God and received God's blessings in abundance. So what would I ask for if God gave me a choice? Financial security for the church (ie. pay off the property loan!)? To grow the church to double it's current size? To be able to finish my ministry here (25 more years!)? To become a renowned preacher? Those are all tempting, for sure (and would be on my short list of things to ask God for)... but I think Solomon had it right: WISDOM & DISCERNMENT.
This is the largest church I've ever served. I don't even know what I don't know yet. There will be challenges in my leadership tenure that will stretch me. I want God's wisdom, guidance, and discernment. I want to be able to do what's best for Palmdale UMC - not what's necessarily best (or easiest) for me. I want to be faithful to God's call on my life to shepherd this community of faith.
So give me wisdom, Lord... as I lead and guide this beloved community of Palmdale UMC. Help me wait for your leading before moving ahead. Help me to focus on what's really important here: Your will, not my own. AMEN.