Tag Archives: BruceSpringsteen

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

StreetLights On A Saturday Night original post January 29th, 2019. I am asking unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks based on the experiences of the last year.

A few days after posting this last year, I had a heart attack. It was mild and I received two stents. However, last year’s health challenges didn’t end there. I ended up hospitalized 6 times last year for a variety of issues including the myocardial infarction, septicemia, other infections, a third stent, and neck surgery to finish out the year. I also continued to battle depression. All this to say the journey continues and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s cliche’ but true. Would it surprise you to know my faith in God, my connection to Jesus is even stronger?

This Sunday at Broadway Baptist Church, our Sr. Pastor, Ryon Price will be giving a sermon entitled, “What Are You Looking For?” As Pastor Ryon writes, “that is the title of the sermon but also the words Jesus asks to the first disciples to follow him. Oh, but the irony. The one who is asking the question is Himself its answer. He is what and who they are looking for, though they do not yet know it. All they know now is that they are looking for something, and they still haven’t found it, but they’ve been told by John to look the way of Jesus.
 
Sunday’s sermon will be about Jesus. It will be about our search and our longing for him. It will be about how, in Augustine’s words, “our hearts are restless until they find rest in [Him].”
 
I ask that you pray for Sunday. Somebody will surely show up looking for something, though they may know not what or who. Pray for me. Pray for them. Pray I can be like John the Baptist in the story and point them the way to the one who both has us asking and also is the answer.”

I would like to invite everyone to join us this Sunday at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. We are all on this journey together. Don’t worry about the Baptist part of Broadway Baptist Church. You don’t have to be Baptist to join us and find other seekers/searchers. Come get a spiritual recharge!

http://broadwaybc.org/
305 W. Broadway, Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Service begins at 1050am. Come early and join a Sunday School group at 925am

Now for the original post. Learning of this weekend’s (January 19, 2020 at 1050am) sermon reminded me of it…

A very significant milestone quietly passed by unnoticed over the weekend. When I realized it, I reviewed my recent trips to find out, Saturday night I gave Uber/Lyft ride number 5,000.

It turns out, that 5,000th ride was given to a woman name Lauren from Chicago. She has been living in Dallas for 6 months. She was just getting back from the frigid windy city. We talked about the differences between the two cities. We talked about Chicago style pizza. We talked about movies, careers, and we talked about a shared passion for music. Perfect strangers, but connected in this grand journey of life, of humanity.
We talked about kindness. We lamented the shortfall. And, we both pledged to keep making more.

This unexpected and awe inspiring path of 2 and a half years, 150,000 miles, and 5,000 rides has changed my outlook on life, on faith, profoundly. I am forever grateful. God has certainly continued to remind me of the importance of this path, and given me the grace to survive the struggles along the way.

Even with a profound sense of purpose, I wonder, I ache, I question. Even with this incredible sense of joy and peace, I hurt, I cry. Even with God’s steady hand, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

But I now know, that is an eternal search. And, that is how it is supposed to be.
To question, to challenge, to become more enlightened, all throughout the universe. We will forever be connected. We must, therefore live our lives in purposeful kindness, and love.

Music has been a steadfast companion all my life. I am fond of saying life is better with a soundtrack. But, music is so much more. It tells our stories. It gives us perspective. It stirs the adventure and curiosity in us all.

Bruce Springsteen introduced U2 into the Rocknroll Hall of Fame in 2005. Two musical entities that have done just that; stir emotion, curiosity, and tell our story so well.

Bono, at one the 25th Anniversary Rock&Roll Hall Of Fame concerts, said this…

“I’m thinking here in Rock&Roll’s great cathedral, that is Madison Square Garden, thinking in this moment about all the pilgrims, all the pioneers that got us all here. The saints and the heretics, the poets and the punks, that now make up the hall of fame. Its a dangerous thing, this business of building idols. But at least Rock&Roll is not, at its best, about worshiping sacred cows. It’s about the thousands of voices gathered in one great unwashed congregation, like tonight. For alot of us here, Rock&Roll just means one word, liberation; political, sexual, spiritual. Liberation.”

To which Bruce Springsteen replied, “Let’s have some fun with that!”

And they began to sing together.

I like this quote because it isn’t just relevant to musicians. It is all of us. It’s life’s journey.

Plus, U2 and The Boss together is frickin awesome!

As I prepare for whatever God has planned next for me, this song reminds me that we are all searching. Perhaps, I’ll take a drive down Thunder Road, and see what lies ahead.

Where will you go? What will you look for?

Will you be kind along your journey?

I hope so.

https://youtu.be/XJo6lN6cNm0

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace

crossroads part 1 of 3

2019 is hours away from it’s end. For a great many, that is a welcome event. We look to renew our hopes of a better year. We look to find our footing and balance, pick ourselves up, and dust off the dirt. With another year behind us, we start to wonder if the trail we have followed is longer than the trail ahead.

As I contemplate my own path forward and make peace with my past, I have found a few things to say on the matter. So, here is the first of three installments I am writing today as I continue my convalescence. The first is looking back. The second is about being here, being present, and can be summed up with 3 simple words spoken by Holly, the woman in the story I am reposting for the 2nd installment today. Those words are, life is love. The 3rd is predictably, looking forward. I have some music I wish to share as well. After all, life is better with a soundtrack. Wouldn’t you agree?

Hello Sunshine

When you spend enough time in darkness, it becomes familiar and even comforting in a strange way, like an old blanket. The irony being in the dark fog you are cold and lonely. I have spent a lifetime hiding in my own darkness, or running from it. Two years ago I reached a moment which could have easily been my last, but God had other plans. December 5th, 2017 was ground zero. Instead of my story ending there, December 6th became my first day of clarity, true clarity.

I finally recognized the patterns of my life, the destructive patterns that I kept repeating, unknowingly. I found a way to move forward. I found the light. I felt the sunshine break in to even the darkest corners of my soul. I found a way forward and purpose. Life isn’t meant to be easy. But, that is why we have each other. That is why we have God, and God has given me a new path.

You know, moving forward isn’t any easier than it used to be. When we try to change and grow, we face instant obstacles and challenges. we grow weary. I can honestly tell you, it is worth the effort. I am weary. I still have the demons chasing me and meddling with my honest effort. They will never be gone. That’s just the way it is. In the last two years, I have learned to recognize patterns and control those demons. I have amassed an arsenal of weapons and tools to fight my way forward. I keep them in my “tool box.” And I share my story so others can learn to fight back as well; so others can create their own tool box.

Looking back on this tough year, it is easy to focus on what went wrong. It is easy to fill my head with regret and let those demons catch me, let them take over again. Na, to hell with that. This year was the year I fought back. This was the year my friends and my family helped me stand back up. This has been the year I overcame the obstacles and did the hard work of moving forward. God sure does have a sense of irony. As December 5th, 2017 was my rock bottom moment, December 5th, 2019 was the day I finally had surgery to repair a collapsed disc and arthritis in my neck that has been progressively debilitating and painful for 5 years.

2019 was yet another moment, standing at the crossroads. How about you? Did you face down some demons this year? Did you beat them? Are you feeling like its a battle you must do alone? That isn’t true.

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

For my fellow depressives…

We face those battles together. From my own experience, I know if you are in that dark place it is hard to ask for help. Ask me. I have been where you are. It’s time to welcome the sunshine in.

As we look forward, consider this theme, We are all connected. In that thought, be kind. Make eye contact. Give hugs. Be light. Shine your light.

As promised, here is a song and a few thoughts on the album and artist, Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen, released in June.

Bruce Springsteen has long been one of my favorite musical artists and story tellers. He has spent 31 years trying to shed the destructive demons of his soul. What he has found, keep moving. Keep living. You can never really eliminate those demons but you can sure as hell keep them locked up or behind you so they can’t cause any more trouble.

About the album, “The common thread across Western Stars probably isn’t one that 25-year-old Springsteen could have convincingly explored: it’s about the winding down of time, the moments where decades of life experience have accumulated to little more than foggy memories of things that aren’t around anymore. It’s about mortality, it’s about the fear that goes with that. And it’s about the ability to find peace, beauty, and hope in the face of it.

Goodnight 2019

Hello Sunshine

“Had enough of heartbreak and pain
I had a little sweet spot for the rain
For the rain and skies of grey
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always liked my walking shoes
But you can get a little too fond of the blues
You walk too far, you walk away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always loved a lonely town
Those empty streets, no one around
You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always liked that empty road
No place to be and miles to go
But miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

And miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?
Hello sunshine”

Christopher Carlson
StreetLights.blog

StreetLights on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/PurposefulKindness/