When I say my fridge is an anchor point of faith, it is not because it keeps my beer cold. While that is a plus for the fridge, the faith anchor point is actually on the outside. All over the outside, held on with a vast array of magnets. Nearly the entire front and left side are covered with various items. I don’t really notice them as I get out the milk or put away leftovers or, yes, find a beer. But today I did.
Today when I looked at what is right in front of me, at least a dozen times everyday, I actually saw what was there. It was a snapshot of some of my most closely held values.
- Mom is there. She died just over a year ago, but her picture and her presence are still with me.
- There are pictures of my kids, my wife and me with my brother and his wife, friends, their families, our granddaughter, nephews, nieces and even one of Jesus.
- There is a sample ballot, so we can figure out who is running in lesser known races, and understand any referendums, to make an informed choice.
- There is the invitation to a charity fundraising event connected to the Catholic School our children attend.
- There is a photo of Linda who lives in Malawi. She is the current child we sponsor there; our 4th since we began the practice the first day we were married.
- There is artwork from our kids, including our awesomely talented Senior daughter.
- There is a photo from this summer’s Boy Scout Camp for the troop where I am Scoutmaster.
- There is the job list where assignments rotate from kid to kid using magnets.
- There are magnets from special places we went on vacation.
- The monkey? Well, um…. yeah the monkey.
Each day I search for direction, meaning and purpose, hoping to live in harmony with God. Taking in what I see on my fridge, I realized I may not be as confused or unsuccessful as I think I am.
Self doubt is a road away from harmony with God, and sometimes it seems programmed into my autopilot. I am not talking about a healthy examination of conscience, but the doubt of self worth or the feeling like any effort is futile. It is the doubt that saps vitality leaving us to feel “why bother trying”. It is not a direct attack on our life of faith that would stimulate a natural defense, but a subtle doubt that draws us away like a slowly ebbing tide.
To hold against that tide I need anchors; places and things that keep me grounded. To succeed at that, I need to pay more attention to what is around me to discover the anchors that are present.
Throw Me An Anchor
When overwhelmed we say we need someone to throw us a life preserver. As long as you are not actually in water, perhaps what you need is an anchor.
As an anchor point for my faith, when I look at what covers my fridge, I see how my wife and I desire to love family, friends and strangers as gifts of God. I see our concern for education, work, charity and civil society. That is what I am intending to do.
Having had one small “ah ha” that opened my eyes to an anchor of faith, I found another. It is the collection of holy cards tucked into the corner of the mirror on my dresser. They are those loved ones who have gone before me, who now stand as witnesses to the man I try to be each day. We can intercede in prayer for each other. Now having found two, I hope to find others.
We don’t do this alone. Tucked away at the top of our fridge is a small letter message “May the Good Saints Protect you and Bless you today and may trouble ignore you each step of the way.”
As we each look to find our way as people of faith, it is a great blessing to discover anchor points in our home, car, desk, yard, community, church and mind. What are your faith anchor points?