> Spirituality > Personal Growth

Bruce Springsteen, I’m Ready to be Transformed

March 27, 2016 | by Ilana Dafna

The concert reminded what it really takes to change your life.

I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert recently. It was in a huge arena with a lot of screaming fans. The median age of the attendees was probably about 50 but the mood was young and exuberant.

Bruce bounded on to the stage and began his “religious revival”-style event with the question, “Are you ready to be transformed?” Louder. “Are you ready to be transformed?” Louder! If he weren’t a rock and roll star he probably could have been a travelling preacher.

His opening line stayed with me – throughout all his songs, old and even older, fast and slow, dance tune and ballad, solo and with the rest of the band – I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

“Are you ready to be transformed?”

It was a brilliant line – but I think used in the wrong forum (obviously he disagrees). The concert was fun; fantastic in fact. It was almost 4 hours of great music, high energy and massive entertainment. No one gives concerts like Bruce Springsteen.

The ticket was a wonderful present from a friend, her company the icing on the proverbial cake. But I didn’t come out a changed person. Why would I?

And yet the line lingered. “Are you ready to be transformed?”

I don’t think it applies to rock concerts but it does apply to prayer, to Shabbos, to the High Holidays, to the Passover Seder, to any learning Torah and efforts at personal growth. It’s a very Jewish theme that speaks to the potential within each of us.

Are you ready to be transformed?” It’s not magic. I’m going to have to work at it. I’m going to have to harness all the tools and knowledge at my disposal. But if I’m truly ready to be transformed, the opportunities await me – everywhere I look.

When I connect to the Creator of the world through prayer, I can transform myself. I can lift out of my limited view of life and touch the Divine. I can emerge a changed person.

If I really throw myself into the experience of the Passover Seder, if I achieve complete identification with the struggles and accomplishments of my ancestors in Egypt, I will not be the same person at the end of the evening as I was at the beginning.

If I take my negative character traits and make a serious and sincere effort to wrestle them to the ground while simultaneously enhancing my positive ones, a metamorphosis can be achieved.

Every day, perhaps every moment, the Almighty opens up opportunities for growth. And each time that we’re a little kinder, a little more patient, a little more thoughtful, a little less frustrated, we are transformed. And when we add up all those moments and link them back to the source, the transformation becomes even deeper and more lasting.

Maybe the Springsteen concert transformed me in a way after all. I was reawakened by the idea that the opportunities for spiritual and character transformation surround me all the time. And I’m ready to answer the question: Yes, I’m ready to be transformed.

(With thanks to Bruce Springsteen.)


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