These were rows of parking designations we used to find at Disney parks. There were signs with an iconic cartoon character on them and then a number so we could remember generally where we left our car when we entered. If we could remember that one character and that one number, we’d be able to return to our vehicles at the end of the day. Theoretically. Now, notice that we were not encouraged to remember that we’d parked between a white Chevy and a blue Ford. Why? Because these are not permanently stationary points of reference. Chevy Guy might decide to leave before we did and Blue Ford Lady may have been replaced by a burgundy van by the time we decided to exit. My insight into this is that we shouldn’t anchor ourselves to something that isn’t constant. The signs were anchored in concrete and not likely to move. The vehicles not so much. (Maybe the Disney reference isn’t appropriate here, but you get the point.)
I’ve heard people vow to someone they love (and I’ve done it myself) “I’ll always be here for you.” That’s so sweet, especially if it is genuine, but it is a sentiment that has no real basis in reality. What if I die one day? And I will. What happens to my promise to always be here? You can say that I’m with you in spirit—looking down on you from heaven. And, if that’s even possible, that is a comforting thought. However, the reality of putting all of our hopes into something or somebody so temporal, that is not permanent and eternal, will inevitably lead to disappointment and disillusionment—not to mention loneliness.
The writer of Hebrews calls our hope in Christ the anchor for our souls. It’s a metaphor that the writer uses (Hebrews 6:19) to help the readers understand that they should not attach themselves to something or someone that isn’t “nailed down.” And how there’s only one Someone who never leaves, never moves, never leads us astray. The Message paraphrase of this Hebrews passage says this:
“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 Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…”
I guess it’s a little strange to refer to something as concrete when this is a rather abstract thought. But that’s how it often is with spiritual things. We have to dig into such ideas with nothing but faith.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable…” Hebrews 6: 19 (NASB)
BTW, I read recently that some parking lots at Disney parks are divided into 2 sections: Heroes and Villains. The Heroes lots include: Woody, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Simba, Mulan, and Rapunzel. The Villains lots include: Zurg, Jafar, Hook, Scar, Cruella, and Ursula. Times are changing, huh?