Nov. 19 will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of U2’s “Achtung Baby,” one of my all-time favorite albums.
I still can remember the first time I heard it: riding in the back of Kristie Karl’s gold Chevy Cavalier on the way from Scott High to the College of Mount St. Joseph for an AP Biology lab. It was a rainy, gray day, and the drive took forever. But I didn’t mind the long ride, because listening to this CD had blown my mind completely.
I can’t believe this was 20 years ago! When I learned that earlier this week, upon the release of the album’s anniversary re-issue, I was hit with a mix of sentimentality, nostalgia and melancholy. And I was hit hard.
How has so much time passed? And more importantly, what have I been doing for the past two decades?
The 14-year-old girl who first heard “Achtung Baby” loved to discover new things and had big, BIG ideas about where she was going in life. She was ready for anything, even as she battled the slings and arrows of the battlefield that is high school.
“Achtung Baby” is as awesome now as it was in 1991. Am I?
I wonder: How far have I come? Would the 14-year-old me meet the 34-year-old me and think, “Seriously?”
Maybe it’s because my 35th birthday is just weeks away, but the passage of time is becoming more and more intimidating. I’m realizing that, lo and behold, I’m not going to get to do everything I want to do, nor everything I should do. That scares me, because I’m not sure how to fix it. How do you turn things upside down and change course at this stage of the game?
Thinking back to that car trip 20 years ago, I can hear Bono’s voice so clearly. I know every note to every song on that album. Will I ever hear God’s voice that way? Will I ever know His words by heart?
I hope there’s a chance. Frankly, I’m counting on it. After all, the Spirit moves in Mysterious Ways.