This post is a response to a challenge. My children challenged me to write a post involving a snorkel, an anchor and a bear. They taunted me with the suggestion that I could not find a spiritual meaning in it and apply it to scripture. I accept this challenge, not as a challenge, but as an invitation. Their whole premise was that I could not write a thoughtful reflection on three random, unspiritual things. Only, what they did not realize is that these things, and their choice of them, are neither random, nor unspiritual.
What do I see when I see a snorkel, an anchor and a bear?
On one hand, a snorkel lets me breath underwater. An anchor holds my boat where I want it to stay, and a bear is a marvelous and fearsome creature of the wilderness.
A snorkel can also be seen as that which allows us to sustain life while we are submerged beneath a life of trouble and despair. An anchor holds us fast, and keeps us from drifting away in the storm of life. While the bear is a symbol of our resurrection for it descends into the earth of death each winter only to be reborn with new life in the spring.
The true lesson is in the source of the difference between these two. It is that we will find that which we seek. Hence, the teaching of the master -
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a serpent? If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7: 7-11)
There is no difference between the physical and the spiritual – they are the same. The reason Christ became man was to reunite and restore the connection between the physical world and that of the spirit. That which is spirit can be found everywhere. It is all around us. It is in the air, the earth, fire and water. Anything that is part of the physical world is spiritual. If we look for the spirit in our lives, we will find it whether it be in a holy place or something as mundane as a snorkel. But, if we do not look for the spirit, and never expect to find it, why then a snorkel is a snorkel, an anchor is an anchor, and a bear is just a bear, and that is all they will ever be.
But, what a sad and boring way to live that would be. So, I take up the gauntlet and cast it down again and say to my children, “Always remember, that which we look for is what we will find.”