Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Seeking the Island of Promise

Just back from Spain..sun exposed to the max and it is now certain that I will look like a dried prune by the age of 30! It was such a good time with friends...exams and stress are long gone.

I have been reading/borrowing one of my friends books. Its the celtic daily prayer book from the northumbrian community. Part of this book focuses on a call to risky living. It records an account from one of the ancient saints known as Brendan the navigator. He wrote about his sea voyages as he followed the call to bring Jesus to different parts of the world. His account provides an approprite analogy of the spiritual journey that we are each called to.
Brendan's Mountain Prayer

"Shall I abandon the comforts and benifits of my home, seking the island of promise our fathers knew long ago, sail on the face of the deep where no riches or fame or weapons protects you, and nobody honours your name?Shall I take leave of my friends and my beautiful native land, tears in my eyes as my knees mark my final prayer in the sand?King of the mysteries will you set watch over me? Do I assume that the storms will be stronger then me? Christ of the mysteries can I trust you on the sea?The sea takes me where I do not know but I gladly go"

This prayer callenges me to ask:Have I got the courage to leave the familiar and journey into the unkown, beyond the sensible and the secure?I don't know why but I have a feeling I will face important decisions regarding this kind of stuff. I want to develop a level of faith that leads to abandonment to God...After a week in the sun I am growing pretty comfortable in my nice wee life...What am I willing to sacrifice? How far will I go on this exploration of God?


  1. Nice-I think its too easy to get into a settled life. We often get tempted to do the easy thing, and the sad thing is, after a while, we convince ourselves that it is the right path.

    One thing I will say, sometime the tougher (God) path is the one that asks us to stay at home and use our skills in this ungodly western world that desperately needs more godly teachers, politicians, doctors, youth workers (nah scratch that last one!!).

    Anyway, again good thoughts (stop reading them in word for today!! HAHA). Was good to see you at Rob Bell-I got him to sign my chest!

  2. Watson!

    I too have that Celtic Daily Prayer Book. So much good stuff in the ancient paths.

    Also challenged by similar stuff at Nua (the Celtic Christians just getting in boats and sailing where God took them- now thats properly being blown by the Wind- pun intended)

    Anyway, go for it. Inspire others to go for it. If you haven't please read Irresistible Revolution. Will challenge us so much but think we need that to help us live as 'ordinary radicals'!

    COME ONNNNNN!!!!!!!

  3. Just want to say I love you Joy...


  4. Thanks for making it possible for me to comment again! :-)

    I love Brendan's prayer. Epecially that last line. I love the sense of unpredictability. It's the way I want my life to be.
    After 13 years back in N Ireland I still have itchy feet. I want to go back to the adventure, hope it is waiting for me out there...This may be a season for being settled, but I look forward to the sea again taking me 'where I do not know...'

    About 'developing a level of faith that leads to abandonment to God' - in my experience it is when you take the risks, do the crazy things, take the forward steps, that your faith grows. When you stretch yourself, and put God to the test, that's when you see him do amazing and unexpected things.

    It's an exciting journey! Well, I personally hope you go to Africa. I will come and assist you in your clinics from time to time. :-)


  5. such sweet surrender!

    if only my heart could actually beat that prayer! Part of me longs for that to be what it means for me to be living...and part of me is just plain scared of the reality of how that would actually have to work itself out in my life...reckless abandonment...TRUELY believing in who God says He is..."I AM WHO I AM"...the more I get to know myself the more I realise, faith isn't something I hold easily in my hands...

    your ponderings reminded me of a canvas:
    And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun...

    ...must get a peak at this book sometime!

  6. Love it Joy. I agree with Nina, go to Africa. I'll never forget the long queue of little kids in Jandira waiting for your healing hands.