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1 "It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace."
1 Kings 7:1 (NIV)
When you're part of a family or a team, a community of committed people, there always comes a dimension of tension. The tension centers around my play versus what's best for the team. Both must be highly valued, and balance must prevail. What's best is always that I do my best. But what's best also demands my alignment with what's best for the team.
In 1 Kings 6-7, we see tension like this played out in the life of Solomon. Much is said about King Solomon's construction of the first temple for the Lord built in Israel, and also about the construction of Solomon’s palace--the first one built for a king of Israel. Few details are spared.
The tension plays out like this:
Who goes first, God or Solomon?
Which house will be bigger?
Since Solomon was committed to both constructions, the tension was on.
Here's how it turned out: God's house was built big, first. Solomon's house was built bigger, taking almost twice as long to finish. Construction of both houses reflected a great deal of care and attention, seemingly sparing no expense.
Fast-forwarding further into Solomon's life, we see that for a long time bigger trumped what had come first. In fact, bigger became better and better became first. In the end, Solomon regretted this. A healthy tension was lost. First became second. Things didn't finish so well for Solomon, in spite of all his wisdom.
Athlete, when it comes to both God and team, how are you choosing to play? Who comes first? Whose house gets built bigger and better? Solomon struggled mightily with this tension. Let's choose better.