While I was waiting for the main event, I was almost meditating like in a desert, when I heard “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.
The song was over the sound system in the café section of the theatre.
It’s a U2 song. U2 were described by Time in 1987 as the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world. But they aren’t really rock n’ roll. They are rock although their sound has changed tempo from album to album, even going alternative. They have never gone country.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is the most popular single from their 1987 album The Joshua Tree. It was nominated for a Grammy.
Listening to it again today, I revisited the old feelings I had for the song back in 1987.
I loved singing along to it in my soul. But following the third section, which describes a love for what Jesus did, the section ends with the line, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I just couldn’t sing that.
Because I believe that what Jesus can do for someone is the beginning of a journey and not the stepping stone of a quest. Jesus satisfies the believer’s heart and sends him or her on a journey with him.
This U2 song, unfortunately, leaves me cold by the end. By the end of the third section, the song falls flat rather than resonates; I was waiting for the lyric, I have found what I’m looking for. That doesn’t fit this song.
So, where would I sit with the The Joshua Tree? It came to me today. The album’s about a quest that is barely satisfied even with knowledge about what Jesus has done.
I would not sit in the middle as I have always done. I would not sit on the positive. But when it comes to theme I would have to sit on the other side, on the negative.
The album sounds good musically, but looking at the lyrical facts of this album, it lacks the thrust of theme to fully satisfy, unfortunately.
I wish I could say otherwise, but I can’t. I don’t think my experience of the album is a solitary one. I think the feeling is not unusual, depending on who one is talking to.