Thursday, June 28, 2012


PRINCIPLE: “With no rudder or anchor, you’re at the mercy of the current.”

Barb and I recently spent 24 hours at Cran-Hill Ranch. We couldn’t head for home without spending some time in a canoe. (It all goes back to the summer of 1968 when we worked there, met each other, and fell in love – all a story for another time!) So we rented a canoe and paddled across and around the lake. That’s when Barb threw out the challenge: “There must be something here for your Pikkup Notes.” Of course my mind froze – it doesn’t get clever under pressure! Nothing registered. Besides, I just wanted to enjoy the beautiful day, outstanding weather, and the spectacular surroundings of the camp and lake. Why spoil it by heating up my mental cells? We went there, after all, to take a break from working and thinking – to relax.

But the fuse was lit. Barb knows me too well. She knew something would spark and begin to burn. And it did. At several points we just sat in the canoe, paddles at rest, trying to capture the quietness and peace. Each time we did so, I – sitting in the back, being the designated driver in charge of steering – had to resume paddling before we drifted too far into the lily pads or swamp area. Otherwise we ran the risk of getting stuck. And that’s when the spark lit the fire. As long as we paddled we controlled our direction and pace; we determined where we go. But “With no rudder or anchor, you’re at the mercy of the current.” Then we end up going with the flow, no matter where the flow takes us.

James actually said the same thing centuries ago. When it comes to determining direction in life, he said “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:3-5 NLT) To go in the right direction, pray – but pray anchored in trust. Without trust, we’re like a wave – or a canoe without a rudder or anchor. And “With no rudder or anchor, you’re at the mercy of the current.”

Maintaining the right direction, steering the straight course through life, has gotten to be very difficult. Our culture and our media hit us with gale force winds, trying to steer us towards their ideals, goals, and philosophies for life. “With no rudder or anchor, you’re at the mercy of the current.” So it is important, critically important, that we have a strong rudder and heavy anchor - a rudder that will help us steer the right course and an anchor that will enable us to stand firm against those opposing gale force winds. Jesus Christ is our anchor, for He is anchored to God Himself. (Heb. 6:19-20 NLT) “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Or as The Message puts it, 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, in the order of Melchizedek.”

When the way grows confusing, when the road ahead is dark, when the winds of the world blow with hurricane force, when it’s hard to stay headed in the right direction, remember: “With no rudder or anchor, you’re at the mercy of the current.” But Jesus knows the way. He is, after all, “The way, the truth, and the life.” Stay close to Him. Follow Him. In fact, let Him steer your life. Just “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in is wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

Happy canoeing!