The other day I came across the following poem written by Sir Francis Drake.

I knew a little bit about his exploits during Queen Elizabeth’s reign and that he was known for stealing gold from the Spanish. He was also involved in slave-trading between West Africa and the Americas (so the guy was definitely no saint) but I was surprised to find this poem written by him.

What touches me the most about this poem is that it was written by a man who spent the majority of his life on a ship sailing back and forth across the Atlantic during the 16th century — not exactly what I would imagine to be a “comfortable” or even secure life. Yet, he had the presence of mind to ask the Lord to disturb him should he become too relaxed and free of hardship.

He had some understanding that comfort produces apathy, and if I hadn’t of known better, I would have thought this poem was written for this day and age. We have the best creature comforts this world has ever known, but it’s come at the cost of living lives without passion or a sense of purpose.

I wonder, how few of us today carry this same prayer in our own hearts?

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *