Wednesday, September 30, 2009

U2 360º Tour in FedEx Field

The above photo was taken a few minutes before showtime last night for the U2 Concert in Washington DC. After putting in a full morning, Jamie and I began the drive from Morgantown to DC hoping we could beat rush hour traffic and get situated in a timely manner. She had to be at work at 7AM this morning, so thankfully she slept the entire way back!

As we arrived at the arena, we went for an exploratory walk where we found a taco bell and the metro where we would later meet a few friends who happened to be in DC including my friends Don Jorgenson and Jake Harriman. They were joining us for the concert, and it was a great opportunity to bless my buddy Jake, who has spent most of the last year in Kenya, with a cool birthday present.

While waiting near the metro, I met a ticket "broker" named Lucas who tought Jamie and myself a few of the tricks of the trade. It was pretty amazing to watch him work--he had a charismatic personality and his story (told between crowds exiting the metro) was definitely engaging. Perhaps something for another post . . .

Anyhoo, the concert itself was phenomenal. I think it was one of the most inspiring concert events I've been part of, and it definitely was a participatory event. From lights, sight, sound, and the personality of the band, this legendary band put on an epic show. Bono began the concert by telling us that we were going to take a trip into outer space together, and I believe that his claim lived up to expectation. The concert was an out of this world experience that were at times comical while other times sobering and even worshipful.

As the concert progressed, I found myself personally inspired, reflective, encouraged, empowered, and even somewhat changed by the experience. There was a magic in the arena, which, if it were somehow able to be tapped into beyond the night, might lead to radical positive change for this world.

A personal high point for me was when Bono sang a verse of Amazing Grace during the second encore. He started with this song, and then the band began to play Where The Streets Have No Name. (On a personal note, that song has had a powerful meaning and sentiment for me both during and after my two periods of extended solitude, silence, and prayer
in the Joshua Tree Desert.

On a different note, I found myself reflecting on the perseverance of Bono and the band. They've been making music together for nearly 30 years, and they've also been engaged in the fight to end extreme poverty for over 20 years. They've leveraged their position in the world of rock and roll to bring about change in the world of people who have never heard of U2. They've lived their faith out tenaciously and aggressively in a way that challenges and frustrates both skeptics and committed people of faith. There's something to be said for " . . . a long obedience in the same direction."

There are still a few shows left for this tour, so if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend checking out one of 'em. And the next time you listen to a U2 song on the radio, think about perseverance. Reflect on the idea of making a tangible change in this world. And take action to make this world a better place.

May you start today, and may you be a tangible taste of God's Kingdom come, and His will being done, on earth as it is in heaven . . .

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