On 31st May 2019, I had the surprise of my life when my wife Lyra messaged me in the morning while I was riding the MRT to the church office. The Irish rock band U2 was coming to Singapore on 30th November 2019. I nearly dropped my phone as I read the WhatsApp message! Yes, my wife knows that I am an avid fan of U2 since I was 11 years old.
I remember the day back in 1980 when I first heard their music through a classmate’s ‘Walkman’ cassette tape player which by today’s standards, would be considered an antique. I was taken in by this band’s folk-rock genre of music and their songs were about the challenges of socio-political struggles. 39 years later, they are finally coming to Singapore and no matter what, I had to get the tickets to their concert.
In May 1987, the band released a song titled, “I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For” which never made it to the top of the music charts but became a critically acclaimed song and was voted as one of the greatest songs in the history of popular music. This song had the most interesting lyrics, some of which seemed to be linked to the gospel:
I believe in the Kingdom come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes, I'm still running
You broke the bonds
and you loosened 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
As I pondered and reflected over this portion of the lyrics, I realise that the lyrics caused me to think really deep into the issue of ‘belonging’.The song seems to point us to something that is divine or spiritual in nature.It talks about ‘bondages being broken” and the “cross that carries our shame”.
I then asked myself why is it so strange that despite seeming to speak about the Cross breaking his bonds, loosening his chains and carrying his shame, the singer still declares that he hasn’t found what he’s looking for? I believe that it has to do with our fallen state from the time of Adam and Eve. CS Lewis gives us an interesting insight:
Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. C.S. Lewis(The Weight of Glory, pg. 42)
I believe that no matter what we try to do to in this world in our own strength to fill that void felt deep within us, we will never be satisfied. The reason is because we are part of this great ‘disconnect or severance’ between God and us since The Fall in the Garden of Eden. We are still on earth with our earthly abodes (bodies) and as the world is fallen, so is this body, heart and mind. We will always have this feeling of “emptiness’ unless we choose to invite Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Saviour over our lives.
It is only upon the acceptance of Jesus Christ into our lives that change will begin to take place.
We must understand that since the Fall of Man, we have been disconnected from God the Father and the only way to reconnect with Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ. All we need to do is to believe that He died, was buried and He rose again to give us eternal life. It doesn’t stophere. We who have received this hope through Jesus Christ must now go out to our families and friends and share with them about this hope. I guarantee that if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, even if we have days where we face challenges or setbacks, we can take heart that we won’t ever need to sing “I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For”.
By Pastor Leon Stewart