When I Got Dumped
We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . Hebrews 6:18-19
Thirty-some years ago, like many teenagers, I got dumped. Rejection hurt and I was more than a little emotional about it. I was convinced that my dating life was over and that I’d be single for the rest of my life. That was absurd. A few days later, I was fine and quickly understood how dramatic and powerful my emotions were. I remember realizing that my joy, purpose, and meaning couldn’t be attached to my emotions or even to another human being. Such things were fleeting, unreliable, and ever-changing. I could see that my only hope for authentic joy was to anchor my soul to God, finding my purpose and meaning in the only one who never changed.
I wish I’d stuck to that lesson, but unfortunately, it’s one I’ve had to learn repeatedly. In my addiction, I came to base my existence on the drug, which was a terrible anchor. Instead of providing me peace, it brought only chaos. My addiction was like swimming with that anchor around my neck, dragging me down, threatening to drown me. It was a struggle simply to keep my head above water and in the end, if I wanted to survive, I had to painfully cut it loose.
Today’s passage uses this same anchor metaphor to explain the source of our joy, purpose, and meaning. In it, the author said that through Christ, we have a profoundly intimate relationship with God. It is in this relationship that we find the only suitable anchor for our souls. God made us for a relationship with him and it is only in him that we find authentic joy and peace.
We try however, to find our anchor almost anywhere but in God. Some of us try to find it in relationships. Others try to find it in toys, status, career, appearance, food, sex, or chemicals. Some of those things are destructive in themselves (drugs). Some of them (relationships) aren’t inherently bad though – until we try to anchor our lives to them. It’s not wrong to enjoy relationships, but a relationship becomes unhealthy when we make the other person our god and anchor. Another human being can never be to us what God is meant to be and when we put them in place of God, we’re headed for misery.
We try to find our hope and peace in a lot of things. We must learn though, that the only adequate source for joy, purpose, and meaning is in a relationship with God, the only suitable anchor for our souls.