by Ken Rolheiser
I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

My father used to buy boxes of books at auction sales. I didn’t mind. I remember having read all the books we had in our country school and I loved the travelling libraries. But one three-volume series my father purchased caught my eye.  They were very large books entitled What Will He Do With It - Vol.1, 2 & 3.

I never read those books. The sheer volume scared me away. But I think I know what IT should have been. All of us are seeking it. And U2 sings about it in “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.

Somewhere in my childhood I had it; peace and joy. Perhaps it was innocence. Then the restlessness of youth caught me. Suddenly I was driven, seeking, aiming, waiting! Fleeing, “Wherever nature led: more like a man / Flying from something that he dreads than one / Who sought the thing he loved” (Wordsworth “Tintern Abbey” 70-73).

The pain of love, now there is an experience. You can search the top 100 songs about how love hurts: “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.; “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton; “Love Hurts”, Nazareth; “Used to the Pain”, Keith Urban, and “Haven’t got time for the pain” by Carly Simon just to name a few.

As adults, we are still running, as so many songs attest. At times we are running “against the wind”. But sometimes we stop running. Easter is such a time out, a chance to reflect.

When we stop to realize “How Great Thou Art”, Lord, then we can find rest. When “we lay our burdens down” Lord, we realize what it is all about.

Sometime before that final curtain, when we lay it all down, will we have found it? Will we have quieted that youthful angst? Will our restless, running, relentless human spirit find peace?

U2 gives us a good picture of how it should end:

“I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for

I believe when the Kingdom comes
Then all the colors will bleed into one”

And then the song breaks into clear meaning:

“Bleed into one
But yes I'm still running.
You broke the bonds
You loosened the chains
You carried the cross
Of my shame

But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for…”
(Songwriters: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul David Hewson, Victor Reina.)

That is what our human condition continues to be. We hear the answers, but we forget. We see the Cross, but we forget. The time will come when we lay those burdens down. Will we have found what we are looking for?

“...Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

(553 words)