At the prompting of my friend Rick at yelloutsite.com, I bought a copy of U2's Zoo TV DVD, a concert given by the band during their Zoo TV tour in the early 90's.
First of all, yes it's true. U2 is the greatest rock band -- ever. I hesitate to say that, because I know everyone has their own favorite rock gods, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
I first listened to U2 when I was in high school, probably in 1986. I wasn't really a fan (back then I was to busy listening to hip-hop music and watching YO! MTV Raps), but you couldn't deny their music was stellar.
Right around 1990, I decided that I couldn't let televangelists, the Spanish Inquisitors and other assorted greedy and mean so-called Christians dictate whether or not I was going to believe in an eternal God, so I did my own search and found that God and Christ made sense, not only to me but in the realm of reality, and that I was going to stick with Him for awhile.
Still, I grew up as most Christian children in America do; believing that the Bible is "the Good Book" of rules to be followed and anything weird or outside the realm of what I had been told was "right" is suspect and "of the devil".
Which leads me back to U2.
I had heard that Bono was a Christian. I later read that 2 other band-mates were also Christians. But I didn't get the words to "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
"You broke the bonds, and you loosed the 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"
It was a beautiful song, but what was Bono saying? That he believes in Christ's death on the cross for his sin (shame), but he still hasn't found what he was looking for? Was there something more?
I heard other rumors here and there about Bono's beliefs, and drew my own conclusion that Bono was not content with Christianity and assumed he'd be making the inevitable celebrity trek to the mountains of Tibet to run away from Christianity... I mean to find enlightenment.
I still listened to U2 over the years. Over time, they became one of my favorite rock bands (up there with Zeppelin, The Beatles and Queen).
So here I am, with a copy of Zoo TV in Sydney, Australia, a concert given by U2 in 1993...
...which leads me back to Perceptions.
In 1993, I was still carrying a judgemental attitude, wearing my Christianity on my sleeve. U2 was a great band, but Bono's faith was questionable, and could confuse weak-minded believers.
I was such a schmuck.
I now watched the Zoo TV concert. Performance? Amazing. Theatrics? Cool and over the top. Imagery? Thought provoking (Is this "The Clockwork Orange" or a philosophy and religion class?).
Faith? Zoo TV is riddled with it. Bono is a master in acting out his own struggle with belief, temptation (how 'bout that belly dancer), and the duality of man. Through song and screen shots coming off the huge stage monitors, he unravels humanity, and brings the true observer to question... everything. In fact, unravel is a great word. Zoo TV takes the viewers perceptions (whether you're an atheist, Christian, Buddhist, etc...) and rips them apart; unravels them.
Watching Zoo TV, I realized how much my perceptions have changed over the years; because of life, age, wisdom. Mostly though, my perceptions changed out of a desire to think, an openness to truth, and the acceptance that there is more to this life.
Maybe I was reading too much into Zoo TV. All deep thoughts and exaggeration aside, it's an awesome show. You should get a copy.
As far as "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", it dawned on me while watching the concert that Bono was crying out from his heart. He doesn't want something other than Christ. He wants to experience the fullness of Christ. He wants to touch the face of God. I can relate to that.