There is nothing more dangerous than sailing in a ship with no anchor, out in the open sea. Seamen know to take great care in lowering the anchor in case they needed to be still in the sea. Storms can drive the ship away and cause fatality. The long chains that hold the anchor are released very carefully and dropped into the sea bed so the weight of the anchor and the resistance of the anchor on the seabed stops the ship from being dragged by the storms.
You might be wondering why I am going ‘old navy’ on a personal blog. That is because I have tried to voyage perilously without an anchor most part of 2016, and just realized how much I had drifted.
When storms arose in life with heavy winds collapsing in from all sides, and when fatality crashed in on my sails, I thought safety is in drifting away. As long as we are moving, we are lulled by the waves, we are making the impression of getting further along, we tell ourselves, we are safe. We are getting somewhere. Peril is ensured when we equate drifting movements to safety.
Months later I opened my eyes to see, I had only drifted.
Drifted spiritually- I didn’t know how to get back to my meditations. I didn’t know what was my normal in reading and praying. You see the prayers I prayed were not answered and the people I prayed with were no more. So I didn’t know where to begin. The normal was no more.
Drifted relationally- It hurts and it haunts when we are let out into the storm by the hands we held and those that held us. Coming back and facing the emptiness and loneliness is hard, so we drift. We pitch our tent in places we are never meant to be. We swallow the discomfort and charter unfamiliar territories, telling ourselves we are growing up.
Drifted emotionally- Some times life does not make sense. Life has its way of unfolding in a way we never imagined. The unbelievable happens without warning and a convoy of emotions are let loose with no sense. You can’t categorize the emotions that are evoked by storms when the storms are not even categorized in the first place. The storms have no name, we don’t know where it picked up speed, we don’t know what it ensues. We are left perplexed like the kindergartener who spilled his lunch tray when the earth quake hit and brought the school down. Do you cry for your lunch tray that spilled or grieve for the building that is no more…or may be even guilty for being left out?
When nothing makes sense, and there are no answers and there is no one rescuing you or comforting you because they think you escaped, and you think you died, what emotion do we exhibit? How do we process? It feels good to drift so that unanswered questions can be put to rest.
Drifted in purpose- When children beg for another story, my teary eyes let go off the held back droplet, it crashes into the pages of the book and blotches not only the words forming the plot, but the purpose forming my life as well. I take it easy with binge entertainments and activities that do not demand my anchorage. I drift far away from my purposes.
Realize you Have Drifted
And then one day I wake up to the love of the Lord and whispers to myself like Jacob did in the book of Genesis
“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” Genesis 28:16
Heb 6: 18-19 describes hope as being an anchor.
If we don’t have an anchor, we drift. We never reach. We get carried away. We are lost.
We have no purpose. We are eternal floaters.
No one can rely on us.
The pain of coming back to God to be anchored to His promises is too much. Anchoring back to God means facing all that pain again because God’s way of suffering is always to embrace the pain and overcome by His grace whereas my way is to escape the pain and drift.
Return to the First Love
Bible’s message to the floaters in life is this. Before you anchor your souls, we need to return from wherever we have drifted.
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.” Hosea 6:1
Restore Your Anchor
Like the seamen who knows to carefully lower the anchor, let us face the suffering and see the potential to survive and be able to tell a story. Our stories are made in the anchorage while facing the tempest.