The last line of Brendan the Navigator’s prayer is,
Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,and somehow, make my obedience count for You.
It is so easy for our spirits to be tuned elsewhere: our own wisdom; common sense opinion; whatever suits our comfort and sensibilities; whatever is easier; or, whatever makes us just a bit less of a ‘radical’. And yet, no one who seeks abandonment to the elements like Brendan and his companions, heeding the the wild call of the missionary God, could ever really be a safety loving bod. The legend of Brendan suggests that his little band of followers made it from the shore of Ireland, all the way up to Iceland, Greenland and down the coast of North America. That’s a long, ardous and maybe foolish journey in a wee boat.
But why? Why the compulsion to move from the safety and comfort of where you are? Why forsake the comfort of home and the familiarity of your present settled surroundings into the unknown? You can call it stupidity, or you can call it obedience.
Truth be known, God doesn’t need us. Yet, he choses to need us to further his mission. There is something about bowing the knee to the Lordship of Jesus that says ‘your will be done, your Kingdom come.’ That, in my experience, ultimately moves you beyond your comfortable place into the ‘stormy sea’ of the unknown.
My longing is that, in whatever small way, that my submission to Jesus will be just once piece of the mosaic of God’s Kingdom. My longing is that my surrendered life, when I actually get to that place and all the steps in-between, can simply mean something and count for something in the task of raising high the name of Jesus. What we need is a heart tuned to heaven.
Another of my favourite spiritual writers, Oswald Chambers, in my reading from ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ this week said,
‘We need to rely on the resurrection life of Jesus on a much deeper level than we do now. We should get in the habit of continually seeking his counsel on everything, instead of making our own common sense decisions and then asking him to bless them.’