Here’s a quote from U2’s autobiography; along the lines of what I was going on about last week. The story goes that just as they were in the throes of their second album and planning another tour, Bono and The Edge (Singer and Lead Guitar) decide that being in a Rock band might not be God’s plan for their life…
BONO: Giving up the band was very hard to do, because we both loved what we were doing. But something very powerful happened there. Sometimes you have to let go of what you love to really have it. Without being too melodramatic, it’s like Abraham waits all his life for a son, and then God tells him to go down and sacrifice Isaac. It’s one of the wildest episodes in the scriptures. But it seemed that when we got it back it was going to be even more powerful. The sort of spiritual ideas that were going around at that time were very profound but very heavy – like Christ saying: ‘He that loves his life shall lose it.’ I mean, this is pretty extreme. This suggests that if you really want to live, you can’t hold on to your life too tightly. You have to let go, you have to surrender. I’m not sure I understood that back then but, in my zealotry, I didn’t want there to be anything in my life that came between me and God, including music. Because, of course, you can make anything an idol; it doesn’t have to be money or it doesn’t have to be fame – anything can get in the way. Smugness, for instance. Years later, I had a better understanding. You can hold on to something so tight it’s like you’ve already lost it. And that’s one of those deep spiritual insights that took me a long time to discover. It makes you very weak to want something so badly. When you let it go you’re much more powerful. And something happened around that time, where we let go of the thing we’d wanted all our lives, the thing that had given me a way to face the world again, that made sense of me. That album, in a way, was where U2 said: ‘We will go wherever we have to go. We will break all the rules of hipness. We will be as raw emotionally as we have to be, in order to be honest.’ Even after that, we were giving up the band. It was really pushing it as far as we could to prove that we couldn’t be bought off by our ambition. And I think it’s an amazing thing, we nearly succeeded in derailing the band, but at the same time we regained it more fully.
from U2 BY U2, pg 119