The third lecture of the Master Mason degree rapid-fires a lot of symbolism at a candidate, and while all of it is useful, to me some of it comes across as a bit generic. And, in fact, much of the symbolism of this lecture is found across multiple religions and philosophies, and isn’t Freemason-specific in the least.
Two of these symbols are Noah’s Ark and the Anchor. In our lecture it states:
The Anchor and Ark are emblems of a well-grounded hope and a well spent life. They are emblematical of that divine ark which safely wafts us over this tempestuous sea of troubles, and that anchor which shall safely moor us in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary shall find rest.
When the voice in your head tells you to build a big damn boat, you are someone who counts on hope. When the worst realization of those voice begins to manifest, and your boat is the only thing keeping you and your family alive, the hope doesn’t stop there. It triple downs. The Ark is a symbol of trust in the Divine and in a divine plan. Trust that leading a good life will lead to great reward.
I have never seen a depiction of Noah’s ark that included a sail. I have never seen the ark depicted with oars. In no description of Noah’s Ark is there any indication of a way to steer the thing, nor any way to speed it up. Presumably God would steer it, through wind and current, to dry land.
But what it did seem to have, according to our symbolism, was an anchor. Why?
An anchor can be used to slow a boat down. It can even be used to turn a boat around 180 degrees in a pinch, but if we’re going through all the trouble to let the Lord take the wheel, can’t we trust God to not let our boat float away while we’re unloading the animals?
While the Ark represents one’s faith in the Great Architect’s Designs and plan, the Anchor is a symbol for faith in oneself, and God’s trust in us. He can point us in the direction we need to go, and He can get us to where we need to be, but what keeps us grounded when we get there? What keeps us from floating away again?
It is, I think, great advice to let go of our need for control, and let the Universe take us to where we need to be. But when we get there we must ask what do we need to keep us here? What support, or physical or emotional maintenance do we need to drop anchor and keep us in our promised land?