Monday, August 16, 2010


On this great expansive journey of life, it feels sometimes that we are nothing but little boats set adrift, bobbing along the gentle waters with no land in sight. No navigation points. The stars are invisible during the bright light of day and taunting, meaningless harbingers in the black night. Most of the time life goes by without much rocking; each day you move forward, backward, left or right, not that you would know because direction are relative and the only point of reference you have is you.

But one day, we realize that we are all anchored. It doesn’t matter how deep the anchor is embedded into the seabed or how long the chain. Maybe you were almost flipped over in a storm and wrecked, and then you noticed a little weight in the hull that you’d never discerned before. The knowledge that an anchor exists, that you are attached to it, refocuses your existence. Suddenly it is not just you just struggling to stay above water, knowing that one day you too will be dashed to pieces by a tremendous wave. The anchor, the anchor -- who put it there? Why am I attached to it? How far can I stray before the anchor pulls me back? And perhaps even - how can I get away from this?

Anchors pull back when a boat drifts too far. Anchors strain. They hurt, sometimes. But anchors are there for a reason - to secure a boat. And anchors can be removed, can be shifted when the boat needs to move, although that takes deliberate effort. More than all that, though, anchors remind us that we exist for a purpose. Someone put that anchor down. We are not set adrift. We may not find out who, and our anchors’ positions may not obviously communicate why we are where we are, but it gives us boats a place to start.

Anchors give us dignity. Tiny fishing boats do not have anchors because they do not sail far enough into the sea or long enough to need them. Realizing that we are anchored triggers a re-evaluation of ourselves. Perhaps we are more than cheap bits of wood nailed together. Perhaps we are merchant ships. Perhaps we are luxury cruises. Perhaps we are anything in between. But we have value. We have purpose. We contribute to bettering others’ lives.

Find your anchor. Pull it a little, test it a tad. but don’t resent it. It’s more important to you than you think.