by Ted Lowe
When I was 18, I learned to scuba dive with my brother, uncle and two cousins. It was a surprisingly quick process, perhaps too quick. After a weekend of instruction in a pool and one dive in a quarry, our instructor, Arnie, said we were ready for our first ocean dive. So we took a trip to the Gulf of Mexico.
On our first trip out, Arnie said, “Once you are in the water, go down the anchor rope. Once you are at the bottom, wait there with the anchor until everyone is down.” Then he looked at me and said, “Ted, you’re not scared of anything, you go first.” At that moment, I wasn’t scared. I did exactly what he said, and my brother quickly joined me at the bottom. But the rest of my family and the instructor didn’t come down.
After about five minutes, I got distracted by all the sand dollars and quickly started to stuff them in my bag. My brother stayed closed to me. After just a few minutes of collecting sand dollars, I looked for the anchor rope, but it was nowhere in sight. I swam to try to find it. My brother followed. After several failed attempts, I decided we should go up to the surface to get our bearings. When we surfaced, the ocean was very rough and our boat was at least two football fields away. I was officially scared of something.
While we were far from our boat, fortunately we were close to another boat that took us back. Needless to say, our families were relieved/mad. While I didn’t give up diving—in fact we had a successful dive an hour later—I did develop a healthy fear of not letting the anchor rope out of sight.
After years of trying to follow Jesus, I’ve learned the same lesson. If I let Him too far out of my sight, by not spending time with Him, making choices that don’t honor Him, or simply getting distracted, I find myself fearful, confused and depressed. I love this verse:
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).
I love the fact He wants me to swim close to Him. When I do, my soul truly is more firm and secure . . . in Him. God offers you and me anchors for our souls. I don’t know about you, but that truth settles my soul. It also makes me a better husband. Who am I kidding? It makes me a better everything.
What keeps you anchored in to God?
Ted Lowe is the Director of MarriedPeople, and the co-author of Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last. Follow Ted on Twitter @tedlowe.