Safely Anchored




There’s a line in Chapter 11 (“Night Terrors”) of The Race that had me puzzled, even frustrated, for quite a while. Chris is climbing a cliff and having trouble understanding how Josh can simultaneously climb and anchor Chris’s safety ropes.When he discovers that Josh is on the other end of yet another line, he asks, “This thread’s attached to you, too?”

Josh says, “I anchor all your lines, kid.”

Now, in tightening up the story, I cut a lot from the book—lines here, paragraphs there, even whole scenes and chapters. Everything had to pass the test: “Is this absolutely necessary?” To my mind, this exchange wasn’t needed—Chris’s story didn’t require it; it meant nothing to me from an allegorical standpoint. Ergo—cut it.

In fact, I tried to cut it. Twice. During two separate revisions, probably a year apart, I drew the cursor across those lines and hit “Delete.” Both times it crept back in. Something kept telling me to bring it back, even though it was meaningless to me. Finally I gave up and left the silly lines in, even though every time I read them my delete finger got itchy. Little did I know that this dialogue contained an important message from God for me—a future me.

Fast forward—oh, a couple of years or so. I was working on putting up a website. Now this, for me, was a huge, daunting task that I put off for a long time. I kept doing “research” on it. (That’s a writer’s way of stalling—as long as you’re doing research, you have an excuse to postpone the actual writing.) I can’t say that I understand why this particular task spooked me so badly. After all, I don’t know of anyone who’s died from putting up a wonky website. But fear isn’t always rational, is it?

Finally the time came that I needed to get the website up. I had made some promises about having it up before the book came out, and the book was being released that month. As I faced my computer screen, I finally admitted, “Father, I need some help here. I’m just plain scared.”



As I sat there shaking in my slippers, one sentence came to my mind as clearly as if someone had said it aloud: “I anchor all your lines, kid.”

Immediately I understood. Writing was a new undertaking for me—a new climb, so to speak. Although it was fun and fascinating, there would also be some scary spots. Yet, as long as I followed God’s leading, I could not suffer any serious injury. Even if I fell—if I totally bombed—He had me covered.

He anchors all my lines.

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