This past Friday, Liverpool Football Club, part of the English Premier League, introduced Brendan Rodgers as the replacement for Kenny Dalglish, who had recently been sacked as manager of the club. Dalglish is a hero at LFC, and it is not going to be easy for the 39-year-old Rodgers to replace a man who is such a legend that he is referred to on Merseyside as “King Kenny.” Meanwhile, here in the States, NFL fans are waiting to see what happens in Indy as Andrew Luck prepares to replace iconic quarterback Peyton Manning for the Indianapolis Colts—a young, inexperienced rookie trying to take the reins from one of the most accomplished quarterbacks of all time. In both cases, you have teams that have recently disappointed and younger men replacing older, highly regarded men—a situation that creates a unique set of pressures for the days of transition ahead for both teams.
Great pressures don’t necessarily have to be connected to transition times, but we can learn how to more effectively face life’s pressures from someone who also experienced the stress and anxiety of a transition when he replaced an iconic figure. When Solomon took over as king of Israel, he was replacing his father, David—the shepherd-poet of the people. David had seen his ups and downs but had largely led Israel to extraordinary heights, setting a standard difficult for anyone to match. Solomon recognized the pressure of his transition to his father’s throne, but he responded to it in a way that can inform us as well. When asked by God what he desired more than anything else, Solomon famously asked:
Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours? (2 Chronicles 1:10).
This prayer was itself an expression of the wisdom that Solomon would need and would receive from the God he served. And it is an excellent role model for us when we face moments of trial, pressure, or anxiety. When life feels uncertain, there is no better thing we could seek from God than to live in His wisdom—for it works in all the seasons of life, including the seasons of transition.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain