God has given us wood to build our ship called ‘Life,’ an anchor called ‘Faith,’ set us in the ocean called ‘The World,’ given us a compass called ‘The Gospel,’ and a gravity called ‘Morality’ leading us toward the truth. ‘Truth’ is the sand beneath the ocean, so gravity leads us to set our anchor down for it to hold fast. It’s our choice where we set anchor though and we may fight reason all we want.
We can do what we please with our ship and anchor, but in the end our strength lies not in the ship we’ve built, or in the anchor we’ve made strong. Instead, our strength (or lack-thereof) lies in where we’ve set our anchor and it will be measured by how deep we’ve let the anchor settle. If our pride is too great in the ship we’ve built and our gigantic anchor (forgetting we were given these resources and didn’t create them), we may hook it around the most beautiful sand castles in the air. Some dreamers enjoy practicing the ‘art’ of building these castles, and believing the most fantastic ideas they can think of or have heard—but these castles, though beautiful, are simply weightless illusionary ideas. Anchored in nothing we’re recklessly letting our ship drift to and fro.
It might be hard for us to let our anchor down in calm weather, because we feel steady enough without being rooted, but no matter what kind of ship we’ve built or where we’ve set our anchor storms will come, reminding us we aren’t in control. If our anchor is firmly buried in the sand when the storms come raging we’ll not be swept aside or shipwrecked.
No matter how large we each built our anchor, castles in the air will never become reality, and reality will not fade away with the absence of an anchor. The sand is always there, ready at any moment to give us life, but it takes humility to first acknowledge the weakness of our ship, then surrender to a power outside ourselves, and finally to simply let the anchor down.
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
There are a few authors I do not agree with or admire. Thoreau is one.