At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you."
"And Solomon said... Give your servant therefore an understanding mind..."
I know, Solomon probably doesn't really mean understanding in the way I like to think of it, but I still love that story. I think he means the type of understanding that's more of a discernment between right and wrong - wisdom to lead. And that's not a bad thing at all. As a matter of fact, God was very pleased.
You know, it's funny, but when I was younger I prayed that God would come to me in the night and offer anything I wanted. I knew what I would take - what Solomon asked for. Maybe the riches and long life that God generously added had something to do with it, but still. ;) Wisdom to know right from wrong in a way that few do, and the strength to choose the right.... that's a beautiful thing to be desired.
In more recent years, though, understanding has taken on a different light. I began to deeply desire to be the type of person that, if someone I never met before were to come up, punch me in the face, and walk off, I could see past all that into the heart of that person. To see their pain and hurt. To see them as God sees them. Discernment, by itself, would probably say, "What a wrong thing to do." Understanding though, the type I long for, would reach past all that and see them for what they are - a greatly loved individual, one so loved by God that He would die for them just so that they could be close to Him. And die He did.
Most of all, I burn with longing to understand the Heart of God. Then, in some way, maybe I can shine that out from me the way a prism spreads light about a room, to show others how much they truly are loved.
Maybe, in a way, this understanding is the greatest kind of love. Maybe it's the truest form of wisdom.
Lord, please give your servant therefore an understanding mind.