I used a prayer by Sir Francis Drake for our staff meeting this past Wednesday. As much as I like the prayer (I was quite excited when I found it, and doubly so to share it with my peers, mostly because it’s such an interesting quality to ask for – disturbance instead of peace), I don’t think I actually meant it, or at least not in any concrete way – I wasn’t really giving God permission to disrupt my comfortable life!
It now seems that the God of all creation, the ontological ground of all being, the inscrutable and mysterious Presence that both is and is not part of our cosmos . . . this Divine Jokester has actually seen fit to answer this lowly supplicant’s half-hearted prayer.
Why, O why couldn’t God answer my fervent prayers to win the lottery? (Wouldn’t that be a disturbance as well?) Or deposit on my doorstep a miraculous way to lose weight, get in shape and enjoy pain-free living that doesn’t involve any form of exercise whatsoever? (I’m sure that would cause a disturbance as I walked around in my new, vampire-like physique!)
No, God had to cause an actual disturbance in my life, one that caused me (and, truth to tell, is still causing me) some degree of stress and which upset what was a nicely angst-free ride in the boat of life. (Hmm . . . that’s probably a bad simile – sorry!)
So if you’ve ever wondered if God does in fact “answer prayers” . . . I’m here to tell you that God, in fact, does. It just may not be the prayer you were hoping for 🙂
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.
Blessings & Peace