Monday, April 24, 2006

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

I was thinking about U2's Joshua Tree album (CD, whatever) the other day, mainly because I found the DVD of Rattle and Hum in the $5.50 bin at Wal-Mart Friday night. I started thinking that it was 19 years ago that it came out. And then I felt older.

At any rate, I remember the first time I heard the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and it was rather confusing to me. I was a teenager and a Christian and trying to find ways that I could be a Christian in my high school and still be considered "cool." And Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Petra just weren't cutting it.

U2 provided that opportunity. People could ask what I was listening to on my Walkman and I didn't haven't be embarrassed to pull it out. However, as I listened to their biggest hit from the tape I did get confused.
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
But yes I'm still running.
You broke the bonds
You loosened the chains
You carried the cross
And my shame
And my shame
You know I believed it
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for
I liked the song because it felt a little like Ecclesiasties and going through the litany of futile pursuits. And I like that Jesus appears as the climax of the song.

It was obvious that the song was talking about Jesus, but I got really confused about why the singer hadn't found what he's looking for. If he found Jesus, shouldn't he have found what he's looking for?

I think the conversation on Friday really crystallized this song for me. I have found Jesus and I've found that following him is the way of life that I want to pursue. I wonder if what U2 is talking about is finding a community of people committed to following too. I wonder if U2 is talking about the church. I don't know, but after we all talked on Friday (and I hope that conversation isn't over, even in that topic), I wondered about that.

I think the hope found in the song and the hope that we can all bear is that we have to keep looking. Some of us are going to find that community we need at the church we are at (Otter Creek for me). Others might have to keep looking. And while we still might not have found what we're looking for, we do have to keep looking.


Stoned-Campbell Disciple said...

U2 is the only band that I would love to see in concert but never have. I've seen VH, Boston, those Texas boys ZZTop, shall I admit KISS, and a host of others.

Joshua Tree remains my all time favorite . . .

I'm sure you watched the video of Bono's homily at the National Prayer Breakfast. It was great.

Bobby Valentine

scott said...

Great post, Phil. I too feel that way, that I have found so much but I still await all that is to be.
My faith in Jesus is simultaneously secure and yet a struggle. I'm caught between the now and what is to be. One day, Jesus will come clearly and completely into view and I will have found exactly the source of my quest. It reminds me of the words of Michael McDermott:

From the foothills of my memories
To the flatlands of my youth
Shrouded like the holiest mysteries/symphonies
Are you sure you're ready for the truth?

Cause you know you're entitled to the answers
But the river of truth is running dry

Yeah there but for the grace of God go I

Baptized in blood, fire and water
You're wonderin' why you're never feeling clean
Your boat's pulled out from the harbor
And you're on the dock abandoned in between

Beth said...

When we put together "Get Up Off Your Knees," this was the most commonly-used song by Christian preachers. One of the sermons is on Phil 3:12-15 and reads the song in that light, which I find pretty persuasive.

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