REFLECTION: Finding our anchor PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 December 2014 14:52

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

No matter how dynamic our life may be, we somehow know that we need an anchor. We just cannot go on with our life without a purpose, without some knowledge of where we come from or what life is all about. We just cannot be too open to anything without some principles to guide us, some norms and criteria to follow.

There are those who, of course, would deny all this. Life has to be taken, according to them, as it is, as it comes, as it develops. But this kind of mentality already betrays some rationalization, an afterthought. The spontaneous belief that we have, even without articulating it, is that there must be some guideline we need to follow in life. Otherwise, there would be utter chaos.

It’s true that to some extent we have to take life as it is, reacting to any development in the most practical way we can. But practicality itself has need for anchoring. It just cannot hang on air. Our sense of practicality can only spring from some foundation.

In fact, whatever human and immediate motive we have in acting and reacting to things, be it profitability, convenience, popularity, etc., would always need some deeper anchoring.

It is for this reason that we should be more aware to sharpen our sense of the need for proper anchoring. We should go beyond our immediate motives and follow the often muted or at least muffled ultimate longing of the human heart which seeks true and permanent joy and peace.

We have to be wary of the many elements and factors that tend to undercut this natural and primal necessity of ours. We are now living in a world of dizzying dynamism and activism, with distractions pouring in right and left, such that we are easily tempted to give mere knee-jerk reactions, easily carried away by the currents.

That’s why, especially with the temper of our times, there’s also great need for prayer, for deeper reflection and recollection, for some silence and distancing from worldly affairs if only to regain our proper bearings or to secure a firm footing.

We need to have a more global picture of things, widening our perspectives without unduly sacrificing our attention to the details. We need to know how to relate the here-and-now to our ultimate goal, the material to the spiritual.

In all this, we have to acknowledge that God, in fact, is our firm anchor, since as the Creator of the universe and the Father to all of us, he is the very foundation of reality. We need to sharpen our presence of God and increasingly be familiar with his will and ways, his abiding providence over all of us.

This is a task for everyone, and we just have to help one another to carry out this task as best as one could. We have to overcome the problems and difficulties surrounding this concern, like our initial awkwardness, our doubts and fears. Sometimes we think we are behaving strangely by attending to this need, which is not true at all.

We also have to be wary of the other extreme of dangers that can beset this task. We can tend to be judgmental, self-righteous, rigid and narrow-minded, etc., if our effort to know and deal with God is driven by the desire to dominate others or to simply want security, and not by humility and by the need for constant conversion and renewal.

We have to remember that dealing with God is always accompanied by the growth of humility, mercy and compassion. Absent these, we can be sure we are dealing with him wrongly.

Getting to know God more and more is actually an easy thing to do, since he is everywhere and he actually intervenes in our lives all the time. He is never passive. Nor does he play hard to get.

All we have to do is dispose ourselves to conform as closely as possible to the ways of our faith. That’s the big challenge, since we tend to rely more on what is tangible and sensible than on what is intangible and spiritual, if not supernatural.

We need to train ourselves and acquire the discipline of meditating and contemplating, since more than anything else, these are the way we enter into the world of our faith. It does not mean that we have to reject our feelings, much less, the material world. It simply means we have to go all the way of relating material to the spiritual and supernatural.

This is how we can find our true anchor!