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John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
Those were the days my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
Those Were The Days, Mary Hopkin
How much time we spend looking for something or someone who is right in front of us? How much time is wasted looking for the perfect vision, the ideal, the replacement of what we had (or thought we had).
“Those Were the Days” by Mary Hopkin is a pop song from an earlier era. The song is unusual in that the lyrics aren’t “poppy and cute”, but melancholy. The singer is with her friends in their favorite gathering spot, very young and carefree, not worrying about their future, their eternity. Yet, musically, Hopkin finds herself alone, at the pub, seeing that her life has been consumed by wanting an ideal, perfection, and without cost. She is alone, and she hears the sound of children outside. She has none of what might have been with more care and resigns herself to the now fading past.
It’s a remarkable song, that did very well on the pop charts in the early 1970s.
It’s a song that someone in their early 30s could remake as a reminder to young folks everywhere. What you think you’re looking for is likely right in front of you. Christ put the question to John’s disciples. They asked only where he was going. Jesus invited them to follow, and they saw so much more.
To my young adult friends. Dream, but think directly. What you seek is likely where you are standing. Your ideal … is very plain and likely, the key to everlasting joy. As our pastor put it in his homily, “You may not see clearly at first, but you will see it…”