I am alone in the middle of the ocean. The wind is blowing, and the waves are crashing on me. For a moment I am under water, and thank God, I am able to rise back up again to catch a breath. I desperately hold on to a piece of the broken boat; there is nothing else to hold on to. This battle with wind and water is wearing me down. These forces of nature carried me away farther into the darkness. Holding on to the remnant of the boat keeps me afloat but I cannot keep myself from drifting off further into nothingness.
Have you ever been in a situation where you hold on to something to keep you from falling, but you fall anyway because you grabbed on to something that was not planted? This is what happens when we anchor ourselves to something or someone other than God. God is the only one that is constantly faithful to us and unchanging in nature. He is who He says He is and does not change with our changing attitude towards Him or with the progression of time. In Psalms 91:1-2, 4, it says: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
We believe in things that we can see, hear, and touch. The concept of God is abstract, and some find it hard to hold on to something that they consider a figment of one’s imagination. Conversations with God are sometimes attributed by some as made-up thoughts derived from wishful thinking. The problem with things that we can see, hear, and touch is that they do not last. Relying on them for our security is like holding on to a broken piece of a boat in the middle of the ocean to guide us back to shore. We need to anchor ourselves and our lives to something that is permanent and unchanging. Hopefully, through the eyes of faith, we find this in God.
What do we anchor our lives on? It is important to figure this out and adjust our thoughts and priorities as needed. What, where, and who do we run to when we are in dire straits? What or who motivates us to do what we do? What or who gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in life? The answer to these questions will reveal to us what our lives are anchored on.
Wealth and success, friendships and relationships, good health and fitness, and worldly pleasures have one thing in common: they are all transient and fleeting; they do not last; they can be here today and gone before tomorrow comes; they are unreliable and ever changing, and we are not able to control them. It is not wise to invest all our energy and derive our sense of security from them. We have all been there and done that, and if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that they did not live up to the hype. This is a sobering truth. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It is not wrong to make good use of our time and talent and be the best that God wants us to be. In fact, that is the will of God. We may find wealth and success in the process, but we should honor God and acknowledge Him as the source of all these. We are to use these gifts that were entrusted to us, to serve our fellow men and women that God placed in our lives. God gave us friends and relationships to keep us company, make us happy, encourage, and edify us. God also gave us good health and the ability to experience worldly pleasures because He loves us and wants us to enjoy the life He gave us. It is not wrong to cherish all these gifts from God. In fact, I am sure that is what God wants. Would anyone give a gift and wish for the recipient not to delight in it? However, we should not become intoxicated by these, and make them our pseudo-Gods. They should be a mere reminder of God’s goodness, generosity, and love for us. We should be grateful for the gifts and honor the giver. Sometimes, God is left with no choice but to take them away, to remind us of this and to keep us from destroying ourselves with what He meant for our good.
So, what or who should we anchor our lives on? We need to anchor our lives on something that lasts and is worthy of devoting our entire lives and energy to. We need to anchor our lives on someone whose love and loyalty for us do not change depending on his circumstances or our attitude. We need to anchor our lives on someone whose character is beyond reproach and does not change. In Colossians 3:2, St. Paul said, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” We need to anchor our lives on God and devote our days pleasing Him and doing His will. Only then will we find peace, security, and lasting happiness.