I appreciate very much living in a rainforest and being able to take long walks with our dogs in the green lush undergrowth. This afternoon the dogs and I went walking earlier than usual and there were others out walking with their dogs. I decided to deviate from one of the bush roads and head down a narrower track and then down an even narrower track I had not been on before. We came to an opening and a motorbike in the distance spooked the dogs; so we headed into a densely overgrown area where there were no tracks and came across what looked like a place where kids camped out, hidden from restrictions. The dogs were not keen on roughing it and wanted to be back on tracks where they could sniff other dogs. I thought how like people the dogs are; they like the safety and security of the familiar. But it is only when we stray off or deliberately leave the known tracks that we make new discoveries. I thought of how we stick to our creeds and confessions and doctrines, our routines like treadmills, like grooves on a record spinning around and around, playing the same old song, never straying from our orbit. In the midst of traversing tangled undergrowth, sliding on slippery slopes and lost in long tall grass that seemed like a sea stretching out before us, I thought about the longings for wildness and spiritual adventure in the prayer of Sir Francis Drake…
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well 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 storm 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 in the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our captain, who is Jesus Christ.
Minister of Campsie Earlwood Clemton Park Uniting Church Congregation