In Greek mythology, there was this man named Daedalus who was very skilled in creating mechanical objects. He was so skilled that King Minos of Crete had imprisoned him so that he cannot work for anybody else but the king. Daedalus had a son named Icarus whom he loved too much. Icarus was still young when he was imprisoned together with his father in a cave high above the sea.
At first, things were great for Icarus but he suddenly got mad as he grew older. He wanted to be free from this prison. He wanted to have an adventure. However, no matter how hard his father talks to the King, he would never let any of them go.
As Icarus was staring at the sea which he can see from the big enough opening in the cave, he began to envy the birds who can fly freely and go wherever they want. That’s how Daedalus got an idea. He planned to create mechanical wings for both of them so they could finally escape the prison. Icarus started collecting bird feathers, while Daedalus began creating the frame of their wings. When there are enough feathers collected, Daedalus attached the feathers to the frame using a candle wax.
Soon enough, it was time for them to go. Before they fly, Daedalus had one instruction for Icarus.
“Now son, remember, you must be cautious when we fly. Fly too close to the ocean and your wings will become too heavy with the water that sprays off the waves. Fly too close to the sun and the wax will melt and you will lose feathers. Follow my path closely and you’ll be fine.”
However, when they began to fly Icarus enjoyed the freedom so much that he forgot his father’s reminder. He started flying with the birds who fly too high too close to the sun. Daedalus kept reminding him that the wax would melt if he continued flying higher, but Icarus was having so much fun that he no longer listened to his father. Icarus rose higher and higher and soon the wax began to melt. The moment he realized this, it was already too late. The feathers attached to the frame started falling down, and Icarus had no more control over his wings. He quickly fell down into the sea and drowned. Poor Icarus, if he only listened to his father, he would have not died and they would have safely reached the shore which Daedalus prepared for his son.
How many times did we, like Icarus, get overwhelmed by the freedom we currently have that we forget or no longer listen to our Father’s teachings? How many times has God told us, “Follow me,” yet we keep going our own ways?
God has given His sons and daughters freedom. Even in the creation period, God had already given Adam the freedom, i.e. the freedom or the power to choose the name of every living creature in Eden. The power of choice is one of God’s greatest gift to man. One proof that God gave us a power of choice is seen in Joshua 24:15 “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,”. But we all know that great power comes with great responsibilities. Ellen White says
“Every child should understand the true force of the will. He should be led to see how great is the responsibility involved in this gift. The will is … the power of decision or choice.”
Child Guidance pp. 209
In Daedalus’ warning, he reminded Icarus about getting not “too close to the ocean”, or not “too close to the sun”. This reminds us about the responsibilities of our “freedom”, that if we do not take these seriously, we may only lead on two things: either going so far down or getting ourselves so high up.
When the result of our choices is not the way we wanted it to become, we tend to frustrate and get depressed over it. Once we get depressed over it, we no longer want to choose to seek God for help, causing our “wings” to get heavier and heavier until we can carry it no more. On the other hand, if the results of our choices become so overwhelming, we tend to enjoy too much that we forget to stay low so as to maintain our flight which will, later on, lead us to our own doom.
God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”” The Scripture clearly tells us that God’s plans are always meant to prosper us and not to harm us, yet most of the time we still rely on our understanding thinking that “our way is still the best way”.
I have seen a lot of Icaruses in my own life. Many times I have enjoyed my freedom and my power of choice so much that I have deviated so far from God’s instructions and His will to me. Just like my testimony in my first blog post The Danger of Compromise, I have chosen that which is easier even if I know it is never the will of God.
Admit it or not, one of the greatest struggles in our Christian life is following the will of God. It was never easy for us to follow God’s will always because of our selfish nature, that we only want what is easier for us to do. But God never ceased to remind us that only by following Him and surrendering our choices to Him will He be able to save us from the trials of this earth. We do not need to let freedom overcome our desire to follow the path of God.
Surrender your choices to God always. Do not let your selfish heart take over your decisions in life. Hope in the Lord and He will give you the wings like that of an eagle which is guaranteed to never fail, and you will succeed in your life. God’s promise to those who believe and trust in Him is enclosed in the book of Isaiah.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”