This is a prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake that was read in church last week. I love the dissonance that it stirs within the suburban soul:
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.
May the modern church, reclaim its mission to:
DO JUSTICE–May we be DISTURBED deep in our souls to care for the Orphan of our culture, to nurture and remember the widowed of our world, to visit the imprisoned, to clothe the naked INSTEAD of resting comfortably in our pews week after week. May we be a FORCE of COMPASSION in this world.
LOVE MERCY--May we be a people who are DISTURBED to the point that we stand up for what is RIGHT and to shun that which is WRONG. The church has been far too silent when it comes to issues requiring mercy such as the kind that Organizations like International Justice Mission, Invisible Children and Compassion International deal with. Why has the church been so silent on the issues of same sex marriage and homosexuality? (What I mean is there HAS to be a COMPASSIONATE response full of mercy that the church can and ought to embrace instead of letting these intolerant buffoons that dominate the media be the poster child for the church on these issues)*
WALK HUMBLY–I think the fact that the church has been the establishment for too long in our culture that we have lost virtually ALL of our humility. Thanks to organizations like the Religious Right, we have abused our position as a majority and in the process forgotten what it means to be humble servants to the disenfranchised of our world. We have forgotten what it means to wash feet, touch and heal lepers, and the like. May we be DISTURBED to humility–to a world view that sees others who are different, who believe differently, who look different, smell different, etc. as Beautiful Creations of God . . . and maybe, just maybe, we shall begin to love them as Jesus would.
If we can do some of this then perhaps, just perhaps, we shall dream bigger, sail farther away from the shore, fall more in love with life and less in lust for things, venture into wilder places, and in doing so, get a much, much, much larger vision of God.
I know–wild hair ideas from a guy without any hair. . .* I realize that I only throw stones in this direction and don’t offer any real solutions. I honestly don’t know what the answer here is, but I don’t like the responses that I have seen the church offer thus far.