“The insolent ridicule me without mercy but I dont budge from your revelation. I watch for your ancient landmark words, and know I’m on the right track.”Psalm 119: 51-52
The word insolent makes me feel like a naughty little school girl. She has her bottom lip extended, arms crossed and resigned herself to sitting in the corner. A picture of someone who refuses to listen, to the wisdom of someone in authority. Someone who is late on purpose, passive-aggressive over emails and digs their heels in saying there is only one way.
Someone who creates dissension on demand, as quickly as the latest Netflix series is released.
Then when the conversation is in another court and a gathering comes to listen actively to the metanarrative around a fire, they hang a do not disturb sign firmly on their front door.
Our culture has created insolence as a marker of influence in a generation that seeks attention and approval more than ever before. If I can rage against the machine and align myself with rebellion then maybe I am living a life of purpose and legacy.
Ridicule has become the tool of the rich and famous, to belittle a history that is often misunderstood. It is a tool that thrives in the dark web of the subversive culture found online.
Yet I stumble, awkwardly across places of wisdom. Stories from those who ripped off their bras in the ’60s and sung wild songs of rebellion about Jesus. People so in love with the person of Christ, that a softening of their narrative became their calling cards around a table.
Ancient landmarks, movements of worship and adoration where we learned lessons or did we?
This is the power of perspective and the metanarrative over decades and centuries, in comparison to years. We believe that we are the only generation to believe with radical rebellion that things can be different.
Or are we?
The Bible draws us to places of justice and rebellion across thousands of years, not just decades and asks us to lean towards perspective rather than rebellion.
Psalm 119 has been asking me to slow down in my anger and to reflect upon the wisdom of my responses. This is an ever-growing dissatisfaction, a yearning to be disturbed.
Sir Frances Drake, an adventurer (essentially a legal pirate) wrote this prayer as he departed Portsmouth on the Golden Hind to raid Spanish gold on the west coast of South America. The context of his occupation makes me shake my head, at the poignancy of these words and the need for disruption and perspective.
Disturb us, Lord (1577)
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have 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 wider 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 into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
Where have we become insolent rather than disturbing the status quo?
Start a conversation in the comments to reflect on this conversation with Amanda.
O’ Captain disturb us in ways that we would lean in to learn from the wisdom of ages, rather than the pride found in our own judgements.
O’ Captain disturb us to remember the heart and vulnerability of humanity, in those times when we want to ridicule its behaviour.
O’ Captain disturb us when we think we know better and more. Help us to sit humbly at tables with the silenced and forgotten, to bring peace with every meal.
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