Thursday, June 11, 2015

Anchors MY Way!

Image "The Old Wooden Anchor on Wood Wall Background" courtesy of cbenjasuwan /freedigitalphotos.net
He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them.
This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven, where Christ has gone ahead to plead for us from his position as our High Priest, with the honor and rank of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:18-20

What on EARTH???  We couldn't quite figure out WHY it was taking so much effort to get the green row boat moving.  I mean, sure, my cousin and I weren't the MOST athletic girls you ever met; but we could certainly row around the lake as we had it dozens of times before.  

When we made the full loop and were rowing up to the dock, we went to drop the anchor and realized we had never pulled the anchor up!  We had left it down and had dragged it along behind us as we exerted all the effort we had to row that little boat around Owl Lake.  

Don't we often do that with our own ANCHOR that Paul writes about in his letter to the Hebrews?

The anchor is there to help us!  We are supposed to cling to it in times of trial, and hold on to it for strength.  

But what about the times that we insist on towing that anchor along behind us as we go our own way?  We work SO HARD because we are SO CERTAIN that we know what is best for us; there's no way we are going to let that anchor hold us back.  

What's the big deal though?  So, we make more work for ourselves because we drag the anchor around.  Who cares?  

On marineinsight.com I learned a bit about what it means to "drag anchor".  Here's something I found VERY interesting about the potential hazards of dragging anchor:
A vessel dragging anchor is a threat to its own and also to other vessels in the vicinity, often leading to an emergency situation such as collision, grounding or stranding, depending on the manoeuvrable condition of the ship. (*)
Yikes!  That sounds a little more serious than I had imagined!  I guess that's similar in life too.  When we falter; when we are dragging Jesus around with us rather than walking in God's will, we ARE a danger to ourselves and others, aren't we?  This ANCHOR ANALOGY seems to have some weight behind it (no pun intended.)

So, how do the "experts" recommend fixing a potentially hazardous situation like this at sea?
The main reason for a vessel dragging its anchor is because of rough weather conditions. In such situations, it is extremely important for seafarers to collect all necessary information to familiarise with the situation and prevent dragging of anchor as much as possible. Some important parameters that needs to be considered are:
  • Prevailing weather condition of that particular area
  • Safe position for anchoring the vessel
  • Wind and tidal behaviour of that area
  • Contact information of port authorities in case of assistance required etc.  (*)

Let's look at how this fits into Paul's analogy.  Our hope that God gave us, Jesus Christ, is our anchor.  But, what can cause us to start dragging that anchor along as we go astray?  Usually rough environmental conditions...

Hmmm....that sounds about right! 

What can we do to prevent ourselves from dragging anchor? 

Be AWARE of the surrounding conditions.  For us that means know what our temptations are, and recognize when we might be at our weakest...when Satan could get a foothold. 

Also, be in a SAFE position...I think this means ensuring that we are connected in a Bible Study and attending church regularly.  KNOW OUR BIBLE.

What else can we do?  Have the contact information for authorities in case we need help.  Knowing our pastors well enough to feel that we can call them when we need help; knowing our church elders, having a mentor at church, or being in a Small Group that meets regularly and prays for one another; these are all ways to have connections who can help you when we may drag anchor.

While in some translations of the Bible, verse 19 uses the word ANCHOR...but, I found it interesting to read the Message version of this passage in scripture: 

We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:18-20 MSG

As Christians, we have a spiritual LIFELINE to God...through Jesus.  

Let's stop dragging the anchor along with us and making life harder than it needs to be.  We need to surrender to the power and hope that can only come through our spiritual lifeline...cling to it, hold fast, and NEVER.LET.GO.

Pray:  Heavenly Father, I'm sorry that I try to take control so much.  I'm sorry that I drag my anchor around with me, rather than holding on to it and recognizing the freedom that you have given me through your son. Help me to remember the anchor every day, help me to be prepared like a seafarer would be so I don't create more havoc by trying to do things my way.  Amen.

* www.marineinsight.com accessed online 6/10/2015

~Tammie Hefty


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