“ . . . you made me bold and stouthearted” Psalm 138:3 (NIV)
Looking up from the typing of this manuscript my eyes come to rest on a painting of sloops and cromsters under full sail on a wave tossed sea. It’s one of my favourite paintings; a keepsake from my late father in law, Ken Terhoven, who had it hanging in his study. The painting is both visually inspiring and for me, a symbolic representation of life. But more importantly, it’s an aide memoir, a reminder that as the winds of the earth drive the ships through the sea, the wind of the Spirit will likewise (should I set my sails to catch the wind) drive me.
Beneath the painting there’s a small framed prayer. I was introduced to the prayer during devotions at the SGM Lifewords Executive Management Team meeting in Northumberland, England. Taken as I was with the prayer, and seeing a link between the prayer and the painting, I printed the prayer and hung it on the wall. The prayer was penned by Sir Francis Drake, an English seaman and adventurer in the 16th Century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He is reputed to have written the prayer as he departed England to raid Spanish gold on the west coast of South America.
“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves;
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little;
when we arrive 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 us into the future in strength, courage, hope and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.”