This was the question that God spoke to Solomon in a dream. (1 Kings 3). It was early in Solomon’s reign, and he answered well. Wisdom. The wisdom to listen, and to know who to listen to. (Unlike Eve in the Garden of Eden, who listened to the serpent, and then Adam who listened to Eve)
When Jesus asks Blind Bartimaeus the same question in the Gospel, Bartimaeus could have asked for some loose change, that would have been a good answer. But he didn’t. He asked for his sight. He was healed.
I remember back in 1984, I had a job interview. I was a secondary school maths teacher, and having taught for 7 years, was looking for promotion. The job was 200 miles away from where we lived in Kent, in North Yorkshire. A different world.
At the interview I was asked what quality I felt that I needed more than anything else for the post – second in the maths department.
My answer was ‘wisdom.’ I hadn’t thought about it, and it wasn’t a question I was expecting. But that was the answer that came out of my mouth. When I thought about afterwards, it did seem like an unusual answer. I could have given so many other ‘good’ answers, but ‘wisdom’ was the answer I gave. I got the job.
It’s a good question to ask oneself from time to time. What do I want most ? The answer will likely vary, depending on what’s going on at the time.
Acknowledgment for this post: 1 & 2 Kings for everyone, by John Goldingay in the ‘Old Testament for everyone’ series.