Lent with Bono and the Band

Recently we bought a record player. Our daughters love it and, I have had the opportunity of revisiting some of my old LPs, and singles.

Last week I rediscovered U2’s 1987 album ‘The Joshua Tree.’ Track 2 (side 1) is their famous reproduction of ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.’ (Are you playing this to yourself in your head yet? If not please start).

The last three verses go as follows:

I have spoke with the eternal of angels
I have held the hand of the devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I’m still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Oh my shame
You know I believe it

Between each verse the haunting chorus:

‘But I still havent found what I’m looking for, But I still haven’t found what I am looking for……’

But surely this can’t be right, after all the words appear to accept the work of the cross: ‘You know I believe it.’ 

So what on earth is going on, how might this song help us in Lent?

Well maybe the problem is simply this: too much time spent searching, striving, seeking and not enough being silent, allowing ourselves to be found.

Too much time thinking about God in terms of doctrine and insufficient, if any, time spent experiencing God as presence.

Maybe this Lent we could learn to stop thinking? Could we just for a few minutes each day be still and experience ‘the presence of the Lord, the Holy one who is here?’  (To paraphrase David Evans contemplative song).

Or, if we accept our heads are filled up with endless chatter and argument simply to be still and let God speak, ‘through the earthquake, wind and fire, in His ‘still small voice of calm,’ (from Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – John GreenIeaf Whittier).

Busyness, effort, paradoxically believing and speaking, may be the real reasons why so many of us can identify with Bono and the boys when they sing ‘but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.’  Perhaps Lent is as much about God finding us, as it is us Him? 

Psalm 139 might be a helpful meditative read: Oh Lord you have searched me and known me……….you discern my thoughts from far away……….’


If you are interested in pursuing the ideas in this blog further why not have a look at the following web link:


Or, get a hold of a copy of Beyond Busyness by Stephen Cherry.



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