We all have certain things that anchor our lives. They are the familiar things, the people or places that keep our feet on the ground. They are the things that help us feel comfortable or reassured when we face challenges or trials.
As a youngster growing up in Southern California I had several things that were anchors for me. One anchor was the San Gabriel mountains that ring the Los Angeles basin. These mountains helped me keep my geographical bearings. I could look at the mountains and know which direction to travel in order to reach some location. In my young boy’s mind these mountains were literally the rock that anchored my physical world. I could depend on them being there and I took comfort from their towering presence.
I also had anchors of a different sort. Growing up in the Los Angeles area in the 50s and 60s meant being a Dodgers and Lakers fan. Not only were the teams in their heyday at that time, they also had two of the most iconic voices broadcasting their games. When I listened to Dodgers games I was captivated by the voice of Vin Scully, who broadcast their games for 67 years. When I listened to Lakers games, it was the staccato style of Chick Hearn who gave me a “word’s eye view” of each contest. Their voices, and later their images on television, was a sports anchor in my life.
The mountains were on the horizon, Vin and Chick were on the radio, and all was well in my world. . . . until things happened that “unanchored” these anchors. The smog became so bad that there were many days when the mountains were not visible. They were still there, but I couldn’t see them. Then I moved from Los Angeles and my radio anchors were no longer there for me. From time to time I might see or hear them on television in my new home, but for everyday purposes I had lost them. If I had hopes of re-anchoring with them at some point, that hope no longer exists. Chick Hearn passed away, and Vin Scully finally retired. These are the natural events of life, but when one loses his youthful anchors the uncertainty of life becomes much more vivid.
This peek into my boyhood anchors illustrates just how carefully we must choose the anchors for our lives. We sing a great hymn that asks, “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?” If one’s anchors are like my childhood ones the answer is definitely, “No.” The simple truth is that these kinds of things were never intended to hold in the crises of life. Any anchor that is based upon things of this world, or those who are in this world, will eventually fail us.
In Heb. 6:17-20 the scripture says, “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His promise, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The anchors that give order and stability to our daily lives play an important role for us. Our families and friends, familiar people and places, keep us from the fears and the uncertainties of the world in which we live. However, the anchor that truly holds us is our hope in the promises of God the Father. He has never failed to keep His promises. He has never failed to provide for and care for His people. He has always been, and will always be, faithful to the covenant he has made with mankind through Jesus Christ. We can find assurance, comfort, respite from the cares of this life, and ultimately, eternal life only by holding fast to the anchor of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.