I and about one hundred thousand other people packed the Dallas Cowboy Stadium to watch U2 live in concert. I have never seen such a crowd; it was breathtaking, yet overwhelming. The roar of applause when Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam entered the stadium thundered through the stands. The vibration of energy echoed like a pinball from the metal structures and absorbed back into my skin.
The lights went black just before the stage burst into brilliant colors. Bono’s voice consumed the crowd, and I had to remind myself that Bono was just a man. In Bono’s charismatic way, he walked along the path that cut through the thousands of standing fans. When he jumped up and down, the ocean of people rippled like choppy waves on a windy day. When he waved his arms, the ocean of people leaped into stormy peaks. Bono had an unmistakable power over the throng around him.
I could tell that even Bono was impressed by the crowd. Several times he took off his earpiece to hear the bellow of the multitude. With one word from Bono’s mouth, the blaring sound around us hushed, and the crowd was able to sing a duet with him. I marveled at the sophistication and control of the U2 team.
One lucky boy got chosen from the crowd. He looked about sixteen years old. Bono encouraged the young man to walk the path with him. The boy took a precarious stroll around the stage and Bono proceeded to put his infamous sunglasses on the lad’s head. The boy just stood there with a big, goofy smile on his face as the mass of voices screamed in excitement.
That boy will never forget this moment! I thought.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I wanted to pray for Bono that night. Somehow, I wanted to reach him and pray a blessing over him. I wanted to encourage him in Christ and show him that not all Christians were stubbornly self-righteous in their “goodness” and incessantly judgmental in their lack of brokeness to the Holy Spirit. Though I am not perfect, I am sanctified (continuously being set a part and changed by God). I yield control to Him, and He does a good work in me.
As I watched the fortunate boy go back to his seat, I realized how ridiculous my desire was. And rightly so. Bono has way too much on his plate to indulge a moment of his time to me. However, I did pray for him from my seat with all my heart. I prayed that he use his life to touch the world for Christ. I prayed that he allow God to continually sanctify him, which Bono sings about in U2’s song Rejoice from their October album:
And what am I to do/Just tell me what am I supposed to say/I can’t change the world/But I can change the world in me/If I rejoice (ref)
As U2 continued to perform, Bono did many things that had me praising God. Bono prayed. He told the entire stadium full of people to lift their hands. Then he told them to lift certain people up as he said their names. I noticed the men next to me timidly raising their hands. Bono also thanked many people for helping to save lives around the world, including President Bush and Jeremy Camp. But nothing could top Bono serenading us with Amazing Grace. I wrote about this song here, and I wonder if John Newton could even fathom the influence his song has had.
While contemplating all of this, God confronted me with a struggle that I’m having in my life: my quiet-time or my God-time. It is my goal to do my God-time every day, but it is usually squeezed into a lull in my day’s activity. If all else fails, I do it before bed. I know God has been wanting me to spend my “first-fruit” with Him, meaning the first moments of the day I’ve been blessed with. I can’t seem to get up, and I can’t justify it. (If you claim busyness, you are out of God’s balance for your life because He p
romises that His yoke is easy and burden light!)
If God has asked me to do something, He has already promised my victory (Psalm 18.35). I have no excuse! Proverbs 6.10-11 rings in my ears whenever I sleep in and allow my kids (5yrs, 2yrs & 7mnths) to wake me up: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”
God, help me to wake up!
God asked me a question right there in the middle of the screams and the flashing lights that convicted me to the core and will forever change my God-time.
What if Bono wanted to talk with you before breakfast?
A hundred thousand people stacked inside the Cowboys Stadium will be testament to my answer. What would I do? You better believe it — I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed. I would come prepared with a bunch of questions. I’d have my camera ready. My makeup would be perfect and my outfit would be full-on rock n’ roll! All my family, friends and even strangers on the street would know that I would be meeting with Bono. I would tell everyone I came into contact with “Oh, by the way, I’m meeting with Bono in the morning!” Nothing could stop my excitement.
But why is it that I can’t even muster a fraction of that excitement for God — the Ultimate Rock Star. The God that even the mountains sing praises to His name. I think sometimes I contemplate only the humble Jesus who washed the feet of His friends, and I forget the rock star Jesus who will come back to this earth in a performance that will make U2’s concert look like a tea party.
Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as “Word of God.” The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords.
– Revelation 19.11-18 (The Message)
Bono has to walk onto the stage. Jesus splits the skies open and rides on a Pegasus! Bono has a name that is common knowledge (Paul Hewson). Jesus has a name that only He knows! Bono has a road crew. Jesus has the armies of Heaven! Bono is surrounded by lights. Jesus has fire coming from his face! Bono has sunglasses. Jesus has many crowns! Bono
has a microphone. Jesus has a sword. I don’t know if Bono has any tattoos, but Jesus has King of kings, Lord of lords written on His thigh. Although the writing might be merely symbolic, it still evokes a very cool image!
I could go on and on with the supremacy of Jesus. He existed before there was time. He is God in flesh. He lived the perfect life. He saved all of humanity with His death and promises abundant life with His birth. Jesus is the rock-star of the universe!
Yet. . .
Jesus, You are the most important, beautiful & awesome rock-star that ever lived. Please, help me to understand the gravity of that reality. I want to put You first in everything. I can’t do it myself. I yield to You. Do a good work in me. Help me to give You the first-fruit of my day! I want to know You more. When You come down from heaven in all Your glory, I want to be able to say, “Yeah, Jesus and I are tight!” This is my chance! You’ve singled me out from the crowd. You’ve brought me onto the stage. You’ve chosen me to walk along Your path! Help me to man-up and wake up! It is in Your name I ask, Amen.