Last week I shared that my word for the year is remain and that it arose out of Jesus’ metaphor of the branch and the vine:
A branch that remains in the vine is fully satisfied because all its needs are met: food and water, connection to the source, part of the whole, fulfilling its purpose by bearing fruit, being fully itself–what it is made for.
As I reflected on this invitation to remain in God’s love, I began to notice the many ways God has already been drawing me down this path in the past 10 years, dropping metaphors like breadcrumbs for me to follow. I’d like to share some of those breadcrumbs with you in these next several weeks.
One of those breadcrumbs is the image of a buoy.
Imagine you are standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The sky is gray, and the wind is loud, ripping through your clothes and hair. The sea below you is choppy, white-tipped waves crashing into one another at the mercy of shifting winds and rushing undercurrents. As you look out over the water, you notice a small red-and-white buoy caught in the battle of wind and current, tossed carelessly in one direction and then another by the relentless waves.
As you watch the buoy being cast about, you begin to notice something. The buoy is never dragged out into the open sea; it is never washed up on to the shore or carried down the coastline out of view. The buoy shifts easily in the choppy water, flexing in all directions, sometimes bending so far that its tip touches the surface, but it does not move–not really. It is anchored, holding firm and grounded in one place down deep at the bottom on the ocean floor.
The Invitation to Remain
And so, my fellow pilgrims, my prayer is that we would all have the strength of heart and the gentle attention necessary to remain in God’s love no matter what obstacles we encounter on our journey homeward.
As we walk this way together awhile, I’m curious: what anchors you? In what are you being invited to remain?