As our thoughts turn toward a new year and all of the new possibility that is laid out in front of us we begin to hope that this year will be different. As 2021 begins new and fresh most of us are hoping for something. As people we can’t help but plan ahead or set our goals toward where we want to go. It is too early to tell what kind of year we will have as individuals, as communities or as a nation but no matter how the year may end up we can anchor our hopes, dreams, and goals in something bigger than ourselves.
Hope comes from somewhere. You can’t conjure hope from thin air or purchase it from a store. We may hope in leaders, in ourselves, or in a relationship but that hope is anchored in something. If we are hopeful of accomplishing our goal of losing some weight than that hope is anchored in our ability to follow through, to do the actions it will take to lose that weight. The anchor is our past ability to accomplish our goal, our trust in our intention and commitment. This may be a very firm and steady anchor, or this may be a light and flimsy anchor. What starts as great progress toward the weight loss goal may quickly be derailed by an injury, sickness, or surgery. Anchors that we fix to ourselves are not always the most reliable and firm.
Anchors can function two different ways. They can hold a boat or floating object firmly in place, keeping it from drifting away or anchors can weigh things down and detain them. Once, while boating, our anchor was excellent; it held us fast in place for an afternoon of swimming. Then, when it was time to leave, we couldn’t pull it up. Our helpful anchor became a tether keeping us stuck when it was time to move on. To remedy the situation, I had to swim down as far as I could to cut the line and free us from the anchor. Our personal anchors always need to be carefully placed, and when they are tethering us to places we don’t belong they need to be cut loose.
New year can be a reflective time to think about where we’ve been anchored or if our anchors are keeping us stuck when we need to move on. If we anchored our confidence and self-worth in our job and its gone, we need a new anchor. If we’ve anchored our future in an unhealthy relationship, it’s time to cut that anchor and move on. Take inventory of all of the anchors in your life and decide if any of them should be cut or moved to more secure places.
The only place I recommend anchoring your hope, and your life is Jesus. We know from the Bible “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19 NIV). This anchor will always hold us fast where we need to be. It will never tether us or need to be cut, and if we firmly place all our hope in Jesus we are assured that our hope will never diminish or be taken from us.
Have a wonderful 2021, and before you begin the year anew, evaluate and inventory your anchor collection. Find them a suitable firm foundation and cut loose the ones that are keeping you stuck.