Summary: It is imperative for those in spiritual leadership to spend time in personal prayer.
RUNNING ON EMPTY
TEXT: Amos 4:4; 5:4-6
Amos 4:4 -- "Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:"
Amos 5:4-6 -- "For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:" "But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought." "Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel."
l. INTRODUCTION -- RESPONSIBILITY
Daedalus was the most skillful builder and inventor of his day in ancient Greece. He built the most magnificent palaces and gardens and created wonderful works of art throughout the land. His statues were so beautifully crafted they were taken for living beings, and it was believed that they could see and walk about. People said someone as cunning as Daedalus must have learned the secrets of his craft from the gods themselves.
Across the sea, on the island of Crete, lived a king named Minos. King Minos had a terrible monster that was half bull and half man called Minotaur, and he needed someplace to keep it. When he heard of Daedalus’s cleverness, he invited him to come to his country and build a prison to hold the beast. So Daedalus and his young son, Icarus, sailed to Crete, and there Daedalus built the famous Labyrinth, a maze of winding passages so tangled and twisted that whoever went in could never find the way out. And there they put Minotaur.
When the Labyrinth was finished, Daedalus wanted to sail back to Greece with his son, but Minos had made up his mind to keep them in Crete. He wanted Daedalus to stay and invent more wonderful devices for him, so he locked them both in a high tower beside the sea. The king knew Daedalus was clever enough for escape from the tower, so he also ordered that every ship be searched for stowaways before sailing from Crete.
Other men may have given up, but not Daedalus. From his high tower he watched the seagulls drifting on the ocean breezes. "Minos may control the land and sea," he said, "but he does not rule the air. We will go that way."
So he summoned all the secrets of his craft, and he set to work. Little by little, he gathered a great pile of feathers of all sizes. He fastened them together with thread and molded them with wax, and at last he had two great wings like those of the seagulls. He tied them to his shoulders, and after one or two clumsy efforts, he found that by waving his arms he could rise with the wind, until he taught himself how to glide and soar on the currents as gracefully as any gull.
Next he built a second pair of wings for Icarus. He taught the boy how how to move the feathers and rise a few feet into the air, and then let him fly back and forth across the room. Then he taught him how to ride the air currents, climbing in circles, and hang in the winds. They practiced together until Icarus was ready.
Finally the day came when the winds were just right. Father and son strapped the wings on and prepared to fly home.
"Remember all I’ve told you," Daedalus instructed his son, "Above all, remember you must not fly too high or too low. If you fly too low, the ocean sprays will clog your wings and make them too heavy. If you fly too high, the heat of the sun will melt the wax, and your wings will fall apart. Stay close with me, and you’ll be fine."
Up they rose, the boy after his father, and the hateful ground of Crete sank far beneath them. As they flew the plowman stopped his work to gaze, and the shepherd leaned on his staff to watch them, and people came running out of their houses to catch a glimpse of the two figures high above the treetops. Surely they were gods--Apollo, perhaps, with Cupid after him.
At first the flight seemed terrible to both Daedalus and Icarus. The wide, endless sky dazed them, and even the quickest glance down made their brains reel. But gradually they grew used to riding among the clouds, and they lost their fear. Icarus felt the wind fill his wings and lift him higher and higher, and began to sense a freedom that he had never known before. He looked down with great excitement at all the islands they passed, and their people, and at the broad blue sea spread out beneath him, dotted with the white sails of ships. He soared higher and higher, forgetting his father’s warning. He forgot everything in the world but joy.