When was the last time you were looking for one thing and ended up finding something else—maybe something you thought was lost? I know I have.
We were watching a TV show recently on historical world events. One of the topics, called “The Age of Discovery,” was about “The Silk Road,” a trade route overland from the Far East to the West that began maybe as far back as biblical times. Spices were the main goods in high demand in those days. When I heard that, I thought, “Really? Not goods and services that are required for sustenance, but items to entertain our taste buds?” I decided to do some research on this topic.
Once long-distance shipping became popular, the trade routes, like the Silk Road, took to the sea. Apparently whole empires were established and toppled for the love of spices. However, ships that set sail to find and bring back clove, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon, also discovered lands that had not been mapped before. Men like Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama found the places we now call home.
What began as a quest for wealth in the spice trade brought monumental discoveries that changed the world. History tells us that the Age of Discovery ended when monarchs and explorers believed that most portions of the globe had been explored. In other words, they thought they had found everything to be found, so they quit looking.
My passion these days is to find profound discoveries in the mundane. I feel as though God has something to say to me, and through me (and I’m not likely to have a burning bush or Damascus Road experience), so I figure it’ll be in the minutiae of life—everyday things that will reveal Him and His message to me.
Jesus said, “…Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’] …will be provided to you” (Matthew 6:31 NIV). Generally He was telling us not to worry about temporal things, but He also said to keep on seeking. To me, that means I should keep exploring and continue my daily search for the Kingdom. He will lead me to new discoveries during those everyday ventures.
It is believed that explorer Sir Francis Drake wrote this prayer in 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.
If we don’t keep seeking, we’ll never find everything that He has for us. And I’ll bet that we’ll find plenty of spice along the way, as well.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Nan Corbitt Allen has written over 100 published dramatic musicals, sketchbooks, and collections in collaboration with Dennis Allen, her husband of 45+ years. A three-time Dove Award winner, Nan’s lyrics and dramas have been performed around the world. Dennis and Nan have sold almost 3 million choral books. Nan and Dennis retired in 2020 from full time teaching at Truett McConnell University. They now live south of Nashville. They have two grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren.
Nan’s book, Small Potatoes @ the Piggly Wiggly, is a collection of devotionals that reveal the great impact seemingly insignificant, routine experiences can have in our lives. She describes what she learned of God’s providence and wisdom while growing up in the Deep South in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Join the conversation: Are you ready to be “disturbed”?