Thursday, March 5, 2009

Start at The End

Last night on Lettermen U2 performed "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." The song develops the theme of seeking to be still that runs through the entire album (Shush, now...cease to speak, that I may speak--Unknown Caller). Bono gave a clue to the meaning of the song on Letterman when he repeated, at the END of the song, the line, "Be still my soul. Be still my soul." Ironically, having just read Psalm 46 that morning, the line wasn't lost on me...Psalm 46:10 where God reminds us all, "Be still and know that I am God." There are other clear pointers to God in the song as well..."How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?" To me, clearly a reference to John 14:6-8, when, after Jesus told the disciples (especially Thomas, the doubter) that He was indeed the "Way and the Truth and the Life," Philip said to Him, "Lord show us the Father," to which Jesus answered, "Have I been with you so long and you still do not know Me, Philip?" Thus, "how can you stand next to the TRUTH and not see it?" The other clear Biblical reference is "Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?" This is from 1 John 4:18 where the apostle encourages us with the truth that God's perfect love drives out all fear of judgment. Seems that Bono has been studying the writings of the Apostle John...for here we see John 14:6-8, 1 John 4:18 and in "Breathe" we have a reference to "Nine-o-Nine, St John Divine (though I must admit, THIS pastor has no idea what that refers to!!). I love the line, "Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot"--makes me realize that the Beauty of Grace goes out with me, an idiot, all the time. Maybe Bono thinks similarly concerning grace and himself. But the key to "Crazy" for me is the refrain: "A change of heart comes slow / It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain / As you start out the climb / Do you believe me, or are you doubting / We’re gonna make it all the way to the light"--when it comes to grace changing us, change of heart comes so slow...we must be patient...we must "be still" and wait for the Lord. Whether it has to do with our own heart change or the change we are trying to bring about in the world in Jesus' Name...change comes so slow. We need to realize that we're climbing a mountain, not a hill. Too many become disillusioned with the Christian life because they underestimate how difficult it is...even with grace! We come to the realization sooooo many times that even though we know Christ, we "still haven't found what we're looking for." We still have so far to go before all of salvation is revealed to us. Then the line, "Do you beleive me, or are you doubting?" Again, I go back to John 14:6-8--Thomas, Doubting Thomas, said to Jesus , "Lord we don't know the way." But Jesus responded, "I AM the Way." Will we believe Jesus that He is the Way? Or, like Thomas, will we be filled with doubt along the path of climbing the mountain that is, in fact, so much steeper than we realized at the beginning. Yet there is hope..."We're GONNA make it all the Way to the Light." In John, Jesus also says that He is the Light of the World (John 8:12, but the entire book of John is filled with allusions to Light). By grace, though the climb is steep, we're gonna make it! So, as you start your climb (you're invited to climb with us!), hear me shouting, we're gonna make it all the way to the Light!! We'll be shouting to the darkness (darkness being overcome by light is another key theme in the Gospel of John). It may seem slow, but as we grow in grace we will see light squeezed out of us in the midst of darkness. So, start with the Bono did last night on Letterman..."Be still my soul. Be still my soul...Be still my soul (and know that He is God!).


Anonymous said...

I am such a cynic. And it's not because I want to be more like Donald Miller :)...I just am.

I watched Letterman last night and hated the song. I like it on the album, but I was almost embarrassed for Bono. Musically and vocally the song just didn't hit me right. I once saw Van Morrison do worse on Letterman, but that ranked up there for me.

I went to bed thinking: "There's no way Bob's gonna blog about that one... Yikes." But you did... and you have... and I just watched the performance again... and I'm an idiot (Hey, wanna go out?).

Anyway... nice synopsis. Thanks for seeing the Good (with a capital 'g'). And thanks for diving in so I could too.

Humbly and openly looking forward to tonight...

The Bobosphere said...

Hey, would love to hang out together over a cup of coffee and talk about Miller's cynicism and Bono's voice...remember, they ARE getting old, heck, they're as old as I am!

Anonymous said...

You're on!

I love Bono's voice, by the way. I just think he had a bad night. And Miller's cynicism... I kind of love that, too.