In the world poker, there is a gambling phrase that signifies that nothing is being held back. When one is completely convinced they’re going to one hand the that all of their money, they are in fact, “all in”. Today, when we hear this phrase we hear it for more than just its references to poker. Baseball teams, sports players, just about anybody today, can be all in.
Today’s gospel suggests that it is not just about poker for sports, but we Christians to can be all in. In fact, a careful reading of the analogies of the kingdom of God indicate that it cannot be any other way. When it comes to following the Lord Jesus, and living the life of the kingdom of God that he teaches us, we must hold nothing back.
What this means for us, is that we can’t sort of help the poor, or we can sometimes open our hearts and prayer, or we can once in a while think about the purpose and place of God in our lives. To do so is not really to be a Christian at all. For those who are true citizens of the kingdom of God it means buying that field with everything we have, or seeking that treasure with all that we are. We need to be all in.
How we know what that means? When we hear the phrase “kingdom of God”, comes to mind for us? How do we know that we are giving our all in the quest of the kingdom of God? And when we enter into prayer, what’s the difference between asking God for something necessary to build up the kingdom of God into the deep relationship with God, and simply seeking what we want, and not God’s will?
Because the first reading gives us a rather interesting situation. Solomon, the son of David, has become king of Israel, even though he is not very old. God instructs him to ask for something. If God said this to you, for what would you ask? If God said you could ask for something, what would you desire? Think of this overwhelming question for just a moment. God allows you to ask for something.
It is particularly interesting, because we could make the observation that such a young age Solomon was not very mature. It would not all be unusual that he might ask for riches or fame or glory or a long life, or death of enemies. God acknowledges as much. I would be tempted to do the same.
But it is not such for Solomon. A priest pointed out to me once that what was interesting about Solomon’s request, is that he asked for something he already had, namely wisdom. He needed to have wisdom, in order to know that he needed wisdom. And perhaps in this there is a lesson for us.
How often do we seek something from God that already dwells deep within our hearts? How often is it, that we become concerned about some spiritual gift, or some spiritual benefit, that is already available to us? A deeper relationship with God? It is available to us. The grace to take on some significantly difficult task? God already pours it out to us. Wisdom? God already gives us the ability to see the world as he does. In so many spiritual gifts from which we can ask, the real lesson for us to take on is that they are already close to our heart and available in our lives.
So what you need to be all in for the kingdom of God? Spiritual treasure do you seek in your life? Do you realize that God wants you to find this treasure? We do not have to worry. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” God does not leave us unless we reject him.
The powerful reminder this weekend is that whether we are given is the type of task that is as immense as governing the people of Israel that was faced by Solomon, for the very important task of discovering the purpose and plan of God and God’s presence in our lives, or the inspiration to know how we should treat one another, God is there for us.
We are never alone. In fact, it is not just Solomon was told by God to ask for something. It is every one of us. If the question is answered with the understanding of the true desire to find the purpose and plan of God in our lives, seek his will in all that we do, just like Solomon whatever we ask for is already deep within us.