Have you heard the expression? What does it mean?
Growing up I heard the term a handful of times and I envisaged the throwing of the anchors over the side of a vessel, to ground it, to steady it, to stop it drifting away. Indeed, I always interpreted it as meaning the rounding up or the cessation of something, a journey, an enterprise.
In fact, the expression is, "anchors aweigh" and it refers to the weight of the anchor felt on the rope by which it is pulled up, back into the vessel, upon embarking on the next journey, voyage, endeavour. Sailors frequently attached an 'a' to words giving them new, nautical connotations, such as the words 'ahoy', 'aboard', and 'a-peek'; when a vessel is directly over the anchor as happens when hoisting it up, the boat is said to be a-peek to the anchor.
Now this is interesting coming into the new year.
Interpreted both ways, the expression is a valuable one as we embark on a new journey, a new set of expectations, a new level in our prayer lives and in what we hope to accomplish. Whether it is the tautening of the rope as the anchor takes hold on the rock to which you are attached or by the weight of the anchor as you pull it in and prepare to journey into the unfamiliar territory of a new challenge, the metaphor is apt, though I tend to prefer the meaning to which I am still not used, that which implies the 'setting out' on a new journey.
I want to encourage you, from a cosy bar in the southern part of Spain, that 2016 is your year. I don't know what 2015 was for you. Looking back, I wasn't aware at the beginning of 2015 that I was going to be in the South of Spain by the end of it, but life has a funny way of happening despite you.
An anchor can be a good thing. Yes, the Bible describes it as "both sure and steadfast" and leading us into God's "inner sanctuary", which is a beautiful picture of the intimacy and awareness that comes with an authentic relationship with the creator. However not all anchors are good. The anchor to which these characteristics are ascribed is the embodiment of Hope (Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verse 16) and the only hope I know that is both sure and steadfast is the hope I have in Jesus, that he loves us and that he is for us.
What are you anchored to?
What have you been anchored to in 2015?
What were you hoping for?
What are you hoping for as we pull up the anchor and set sail?
If you have been hoping that he or she will come back, tell me, to what is that hope anchored?
Hoping for a new job? A promotion? What is that hope anchored to?
Maybe you're hoping to have a baby? It can be a sensitive subject for many. What is your hope anchored to? Can you say with confidence that the hope you have is 'sure and steadfast?'
I don't want to get all Bible scholar here so I won't site the numerous examples in the Bible where people anchor the hopes they have in Jesus and their lives are taken from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I won't do it because, as my cousin once said to me, "if I don't believe the Bible is true then you've got nothing for me."
For this reason, I won't end this with a list of Bible stories.
But I will say this
I write this from a cosy bar in the southern part of Spain.
There are places I would rather be. Oh I can imagine now the taste of the spiced chickpea wrap with mint yoghurt and a heart warming coffee at Good Brother in Newcastle, two hundred metres from the beach. I miss the evening breeze at the end of a sweltering day, sitting under the pergola my father in law calls 'Alcazar' , sipping an Astrella Dam and encouraging each other to live in the grace zone.
I miss so much about my life in Australia but...
I have this hope as an anchor for my soul... (Hebrews 6:19)
My hope this year was anchored to a higher calling in my faith in Jesus Christ, and now I'm in Spain, writing a book, indeed writing this piece which I hope sets you ablaze with excitement and expectation for the year ahead.
This is your year
Get your hopes up. Way up!
I believe for God's blessing to materialise everywhere in your life as you anchor your hopes and expectations to him.
May God bless you richly.
David Luschwitz is an Australian Teacher and Evangelist currently residing in the South of Spain where he is working on a new book.
To read more of David's writing and to hear his story head to www.davidluschwitz.com
To follow David's ministry, Like David Luschwitz Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/davidluschwitzblog/?ref=hl
David's previous articles can be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/david-luschwitz.html