Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How long to sing this song?

One of my favorite bands in the world is U2. Way back in the day (before they were really, really cool to listen to) I had a tape of them in concert called "Live at Red Rocks" (circa 1984).

The final song on the album is a song called "40". The lyrics for "40" are taken from Psalm 40, "I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined and heard my cry..." The refrain is "How long to sing this song?" Which appears no where in the Psalm, but Bono just added it in. For some reason, this song has always been a comfort to me in times of trial.

But really, Bono doesn't seem to mean it as a comfort, but more as a kvetch. As if to say, "OK God, I am waiting patiently, but how long to I have to sing this song?" It's really quite a funny paradox of theme. A reminder of the patience that is rewarded with good things from God, and then the impatience that the singer feels when asked to wait longer and be more patient. It's such a human thing. It's one of the things I like about Bono's lyrics. They are so very human and show his search for God's presence in the world.

Right now, I am trying to wait patiently for God to straighten some things out.

But, I am not being very patient today. I keep asking, "How long, O Lord? How much more are you going to ask of me?" And "40" keeps playing in my head, reminding me to be patient, but also nagging that it seems to be taking an awfully long time to straighten things out.

But, if all of time is as one moment for God, the delay probably doesn't seem so long to Him. Our "eternities" are just a blink for Him, after all. And the really cool thing about that concept is that it's all already finished, too. There is no waiting. It's all done and this is the answer. (Religion is so weird and so cool like that.)

So, I keep asking, "How long?"
And God answers, "Until it's time."
And the really impatient me says, "So, um...when will that be?"
But the older, wiser me knows it's already done. It will all be OK.

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