by Pastor Doug Engel

Perhaps you’ve heard of the man who decided to save some money by doing some needed repairs on his roof by himself. The roof was fairly steep so he thought it would be best if he was tethered ... safety first! He found a long rope and tied one end to his belt. He threw the rope over the peak where his son was waiting on the ground. “Tie it to something solid,” he called out to his son ... you know where this is going!

His son tied the other end of the rope to the bumper of his mom’s car and told his dad he was secure. Then his son left to do something else. Unfortunately the man’s wife had no idea that there was a rope tied to the bumper of her car. So when she and her daughter decided to go to the shopping mall ... You know what happens! They only stopped when they heard a desperate cry from high in the air followed by the sound of something crashing into trees!

Could this have really happened? Possibly. I believe a similar story was featured on the television series “Emergency” the year I graduated from high school. Maybe you have someone in mind who fits with the bumbling do-it-yourselfer mould. They try to save a little money but have no idea what they’re doing! When it’s all said and done they end up in the hospital and someone has to complete the job anyway.

The story makes a good argument for hiring a professional when facing difficult home repairs or perhaps there’s a lesson in there concerning trust and/or communication. Those are important life lessons to learn to be sure. I’m going to suggest that there’s another important point in this story. Who’s your anchor?

Any sailor will tell you that an anchor is a nautical device that provides stability to ships during storms, protecting them from being tossed around by the wind and the waves. The problem with our society today is that a lot of people are sailing (living their lives) without an anchor, or using something completely inappropriate as an anchor.

Many are counting on wealth to keep them from sinking in the unpredictable tides of the world. What happens when the economy fails or a medical crisis suddenly hits you? All the money in the world will mean nothing then. In Paul’s instruction to Timothy he said, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain ...” (1 Tim. 6:17).

Some count on education which, in my opinion, has experienced a gigantic quality loss in the last number of decades. Again I turn to Paul’s writings. “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:20-21).

If wealth and education aren’t great anchors then confidence in human government is even less appealing (and I’d better leave it at that!). What (or who) is a good anchor then? In the Bible, an anchor is used as a symbol of our hope in Jesus because he’s the one that gives us stability in life. Hebrews 6:19 boldly proclaims that “we have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul ...” I like the way the Message translation puts it. “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where [we’ll find] Jesus.”

As his father (the story at the beginning) called out to his son to “tie it to something solid,” so I would also call out to you, dear readers, tie your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You’ll not find a better anchor!