Alexander the Great was known for his extraordinary intelligence and ability. At the age of sixteen he was deputy to the King (his father Philip) as administrator of Macedonia; at eighteen he was a victorious commander of international renown; and at twenty, he became a king.
A man by the name of Philonicus the Thessalonian was responsible for the royal stables. One day he came to King Philip to inform him that the mare Bucephalus was so rebellious and fierce that no one could ride it and so he had decided to sell it.
When Alexander heard this, being a youth, he said to his father, “I’ll go with Philonicus to see this wild mare.”
His father tried to dissuade him, out of fear for him, but Alexander gently said to his father, “Don’t be afraid, my father. There’s a reason or a cause behind all violence. I’ll try to tame it.”
The king answered his son, “I don’t think you’ve the experience of Philonicus, who has spent most of his days taming and training animals, especially horses.”
Alexander answered, “I haven’t been trained to tame horses, but give me a chance to get to know the reason for the wildness of Bucephalus.”
The youth Alexander went with the great horse-trainer, Philonicus, to the stables. When the trainer approached the mare, it became wild and dangerous.
The youth rushed to the mare and seized its bridle changing the direction of its head. The mare quieted and Alexander rode it easily. Alexander then rode the mare to his father who congratulated him on his ability to tame the mare in such a short time. The King then asked Alexander, “What did you do, my son?”
Alexander answered, “The matter is very simple. The mare became frightened whenever it saw its own shadow. When I turned its head toward the sun, the shadow was cast under its hoofs and so it was no longer frightened and became calm.”
Truly, millions of people are afraid of their own shadow, but as soon as they turn their sights to the Sun of Righteousness; they no longer have shadows. Their shadows fall away and they are filled with trust and assurance of God’s providence.
Truly, those who follow the Sun of Righteousness do not walk in darkness but have the light of life.
Let us come near to our Christ so that our shadows may fall under our feet. May we hear the voice of the Lord saying,
“Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; … While you have the light, believe in the
Light, that you may become sons of light" (John 12.35-36).
That my shadow may fall under my feet.
I will no longer fear my shadow
But I will rest in Your bosom embrace that is full of love and compassion.
I will be comforted between Your hands, O my Refuge.
(5) Naismith, Archibald 2400 Outlines, Notes, Quotes, Anecdotes for Sermons. Vol. 2. 136.
Laws are Enacted As Kings Desire