So many of the powerful events in our lives have tremendous emotional and physical impacts on us. The death of a family member, a divorce, a legal problem or even a significant failure or win. You could say these events anchor us mentally, physically and spiritually to events in our lives.
Some of these anchors can keep us deeply grounded in the things that are important to us like love, peace and family. And those anchors, if healthy, are very useful.
Other anchors may weigh us down and keep our "ship of life" from sailing free. I can think of a few anchors in my own life that are covered in barnacles and have been a drag on me for some time. Maybe it is time to hack away at those chains and break free from the things that no longer serve me.
A few questions I've asked about anchors that seem unhealthy:
-- are these anchors making me happy?
-- are these anchors aiding in my spiritual development?
-- how could I develop spiritually if I did not have these anchors?
-- are these anchors hindering me from being more human?
It is possible through quiet contemplation to determine what we need to let go of. And it's okay to be in a drift for a while. At some point, a message will come as to where to drop anchor once again.
To assist me in the "drift of life unmoored" I have been meditating on one text that has been like a sea anchor in times of uncertainty: the Sermon on the Mount
THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10
A Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent. Perhaps this a good mooring place.
Joseph Olejak is a member of Old Chatham Quakers. He currently serves on the Outreach, Peace and Justice Committee and is committed to bringing about a world that works for everyone. Presently, he is focused on a project to share the Quaker Peace Testimony by publishing a book and short documentary film called A Peace Beyond Understanding: My Quaker Journey.