|Odyssey painting in Museum of Manchester -my personal collection|
I remember I was with a friend, in the Museum in Manchester, when one of the painting caught my attention. I’m not a big fan of mythology, but this painting of Odyssey reminded me of life journey with God.
The three ladies on the painting represent the Sirens. They were beautiful but dangerous creatures. They lured the sailors with their beautiful voice and music. Their voices could hypnotize the sailor until they got drowned and killed, and made the ships crush.
There are two well-known stories of Sirens that we can learn from.
There were Argonauts (Greek Mythology Heroes) sailing in the ocean, and the Sirens encountered them. They started to sing and their voice started hypnotizing them. Orpheus, one of the Argonauts, grabbed his lyre and play it beautifully. His music drowned the Siren’s voice.
Another legendary hero in Greek mythology that had an encounter with Siren was Odysseus. He is the king of Ithaca Island. After played a role during Trojan War, he had long way journey to reach his Island, Ithaca. In this adventure, he and his crew were encountered by the Sirens. He actually knew how dangerous the Sirens were, but he was also curious and wanted to know what song the Sirens sing. Odysseus plugged the crew’s ears wit wax and ordered them to bind him somewhere on the ship to prevent him from drowning. He told them as well not to untie him, no matter how much he beg. This trick worked! No matter how desperate Odysseus begged them to untie him, they did the opposite, they tied him even tighter. Then they passed the Sirens’ Island safely.
|A wooden boat -my personal collection|
If I say that Sirens are real and existing today, will you trow a pillow on my face? *lol
But, they are existing, in the different appearance. They might not seen as a creature, but they appear on any possible things in our daily life as a temptation. It might be something that attract us too much to compromise the good values we believe on. It might be something that drive us away from things that really matter, or something that distract us from focusing on the live purpose. It is surely something that steal our attention from the Lord.
It could be something within ourselves, such as pity party, pride, or fear. The bible tells us many examples. King Saul with his pride was out from God’s favor. When Peter decided to leave the boat and encountered Jesus by walked on the water, he was frightened by the waves and the depth of the ocean.
It could be something that come from outside: people’s opinion, circumstances, problem, or any other things. Samson was deeply in love with Delilah, and failed God. Peter failed Jesus three times because he was afraid of people’s opinion.
What about our lives nowadays? Is there anything that pulls you away from the Lord? I am pretty sure, there are some things that steal our attention and time. We might not intentionally put thing as a center of life, as we know as a Christ followers, we should put Christ as a center of our lives. But things ask much from us, and slowly drag down the most important thing in our lives.
Just like the Sirens lured the sailor. When the sailor start to give ears to the Sirens’ voices, they lose their focus. They were hypnotized by the Siren’s voice without realizing what gonna comes next.
To avoid our ship from crushing, we should train ourselves to overcoming the nowadays Sirens’ voices. When we start hearing Sirens’ voices, go play your music louder and more beautifully, so that we could shut the Sirens’ voices up. Just like Orpheus played his lyre to drown the Sirens’voices, we could shut any temptations by the power of the Word. Give ears more to the voice of the Lord through Bible Study, build a deeper personal relationship with the Lord through worship and prayer. If we are focusing ourselves to His voice, nowadays Sirens’ voices lose its power. It doesn’t matter how tempting they are, the voice of God is louder in our lives.
As a Christian, we believe that our faith isn’t just about something personal, but also communal. It is important to help each others in maintaining faith. We can’t just living a life as a selfish Christian. We need other believers to remind, rebuke, and encourage us to grow more.
|Chapel -Scotland. My personal collection.|
Odysseus’ story could be a good example of how working together to fight Sirens’ voices is needed. There will always a Christian who are tempted by nowadays Sirens’ voices, and it is our job as fellow believers, to work hand on hand to hold him/her from drowning.
There are many nowadays Sirens looking to lure us. Overcome their voices by daily devotion to the word of God, and get support from fellow believers. Our ship will not easily crush.