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10.21.2008

"Well yes, I'm still running..."

So, considering my current frame of mind, I stumbled across an unexpected anthem yesterday.


I was driving to Aldi after work to pick up a few things (allow me a sidebar: their roasted red pepper hummus is so good I had to go back for more!!)...and I turned on the radio.


Lately, I've either been sticking in a CD or riding in silence...often silence wins out because I can't find music to suit my mood, or it seems like a good way to process some thoughts and talk to God. But anyway, there I was flipping stations, when I heard some familiar strums. It's a song I've heard nearly all of my music-noticing life. I remember hearing my dad talk about it and the meaning of it. And it's famous, a song that nearly everyone knows by a band that everyone's heard of.


It was "I Still Haven't Found What I'm looking For," by U2.


And it hit me in a profound and unexpected way.


There are powerful, controversial lyrics packed in there:


I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one
Well yes, I'm still running
You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame, of my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I think as Christians, we can feel somewhat offended or at least mildly ruffled by the implication that one can deeply believe in the life-changing work of Christ and the cross, and yet still claim to not have found whatever it is that we're all looking for.


But in that moment, I completely resonated with that song in a way I never had before. I feel like I owe apologies to friends like E and Sara who have championed the virtues of U2, because I never really got into them. Despite whatever controversies some might have perceived, U2 is still a trendy secular band for Christians to like. And it was in part for that reason that I never really bothered to give them a listen. I'm repentant now; and I have seen how obnoxious it can be when you try to share something with someone only to have it snubbed because it's "too popular." Sometimes things are popular because they actually are good. Not always. But sometimes. And I guess now I have moved U2 into that category.

I wonder, does Bono still feel that way? 20 years later, is he still looking? Do any of us ever really stop looking?


Anyway. I share all this because I think it's important to acknowledge that there are some things we will never "find" in this life, and others we may spend years chasing. Right now, I'm searching for a sense of calling, of specific purpose for my life. My path. I definitely have not found what I'm looking for. I believe everything I'm supposed to believe, and I desire to serve God wherever he calls me...but I still haven't found what I'm looking for.


And actually, it's kind of a relief to say that. Or...sing it.

5 comments:

Grace DeWitt said...

I love that song! I'm not really a U2 fan but I love that song and “With or Without You”. Your post reminded me of how much I love writing to that song so I put it on my playlist.
It's a very inspiring song and I'm glad I’s helping you feel less alone, because you are right. There are some things we may never find or are still chasing and that's okay.
That's what life is all about; chasing our dreams and finally seeing them turn into reality. If all of our dreams come true right when we wanted them to it wouldn't feel like such a success.
So keep dreaming, and praying, and chasing! I LOVE YOU CUZ' :)!!!

XOXOX

J. M. Richards said...

Oh, Gracie! You're so sweet to post such encouraging replies to my stormy musings. I'm not always so adrift, but I think it's important to be honest about it when I am, because you're right--we all do some chasing and searching and struggling in life.
That's why songs like that get written, I guess, right?

E said...

So number one....U2 is pretty much amazing. Number two, I think Bono still feels that way because on the HTDAAB (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) album he wrote a song called "One Step Closer":

I’m on an island at a busy intersection
I can’t go forward, I can’t turn back
Can’t see the future
It’s getting away from me
I just watch the tail lights glowing

One step closer to knowing
One step closer to knowing
One step closer to knowing
Knowing, knowing

It's somewhat similar to our feeling of looking and trying to find what we are looking for. This feeling that maybe we are on to something but it's only a little bit closer to understanding it all, because there is always so much to find/to know.

Also Ms. Dewitt's statement about chasing your dreams reminds my of an MXPX lyric:

Not a lot right now makes sense to me
And it won’t go quietly
Not a lot right now makes sense to me
And it won’t sit patiently

I'M GONNA CHASE MY DREAMS AND CATCH UP TO THEM
I’m gonna find you some how, some way, somewhere, some day

J. M. Richards said...

Well, thanks for the tips, E! I have now downloaded the Mxpx song, and the U2 song (as well as another from that album that Sara referenced a few posts ago).
I'm making a new playlist out of all of these!!

Grace DeWitt said...

I just read ur comment on my poem about my dad. I wrote it while I was in OKC for my uncle's funeal last week. I had to see him because he was at the funeral and my grandparents had him pick us up and take us back to the hotel (naomi and i). It was really awkward and he was an ass.