Thursday, November 1, 2007

Disturb Us, O Lord

Sir Francis Drake was a 16th century adventurer and, for much of his life, a "legal" pirate.

He set sail in 1577 from Portsmouth, England aboard the "Golden Hind" with a commission to interrupt the Spanish gold routes along the west coast of South America. Drake explored at least as far north as the non-Spanish parts of California, claiming it as "New Albion" [New England] before returning to England and his Queen Elizabeth via a "short-cut" (by crossing the Pacific and rounding Cape Horn, thus becoming the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe).

In return for the bounty he captured (more than half million pounds sterling), Drake was knighted and continued in service to his country until his death in 1596. This is the prayer that Drake is believed to have written as he set sail on his great adventure:

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.

Sir Francis Drake