It’s like Desert Island discs! One song as a theme tune to my life. Tough ask!
Yet, there is a song that has quite literally followed me around for the past thirty years. On buses, trains and planes; in colleges, Churches and peoples homes; in the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, America and many times at home in Belfast I have been asked about U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
It is mostly Christians that ask me if the song proves that Bono has lost his faith in God. I mean, surely if he found God he would have found what he is looking for. In the end I even wrote a book!
It is the danger that most of us live in, where we only catch the title… or the chorus of song… but don’t stop to ask what the song is about.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is hymn-like. Indeed the band wrote it as a Spiritual. There is even a version on the Rattle and Hum album which is done with an African American Gospel choir. This is not a declaration of losing faith. This is a song of commitment to faith.
Bono’s take on the spiritual life is much like the apostle Paul. In his letter to Philippians, Paul wrote that he had found what he was looking for in the person of Jesus but then shares how there were some things he had not yet found.
He wrote “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”.
The apostle Paul hadn't found what he was looking for either. Like U2 he still some journeying to go to become who he believed God wanted him to be. He was running, crawling and climbing to reach this fulfilment Jesus had for him.
As well as a song that I have argued, lectured and preached on, this is a song that sums up my own spiritual life. I believe in Jesus and “the Kingdom come where all the colours will bleed into one…”, as U2 sing, but until that is a reality int he world around me… I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.