Change the world by: making yourself available instead of visible, giving instead of taking and losing yourself instead of finding yourself.

Excerpt from the Book:

“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night...” - Bruce Springsteen

When Sophia and Harrison each turned sixteen, I took them out individually on a special night to see Bruce Springsteen and the “E” Street Band perform live. Neither one knows his albums like I do. But, they both recognize his reputation for giving an audience way more than their money’s worth and much more than any other live performer. So, they were each very excited to be there with me. Before the show three years ago, Sophia and I waited in line outside the concert arena to get into the coveted general admission floor area. We struck up a conversation with a doctor who flew in from Chicago. This was his 273rd Springsteen show. Another fan claimed 176 shows. The couple beside us had flown in from Pennsylvania. This would be the 89th time they had seen Bruce live. Crazy! Sophia suddenly realized there were bigger music geeks in the world than her fanatic father! There are no current musical artists who evoke this kind of loyalty and repeat business like Bruce. Plus, there are no artists that consistently give their fans a generous three and a half hour plus show with no break. Last year, Bruce broke his previous record for his longest show in the United States by playing four hours and three minutes in Philadelphia.  At age 66. Super-human! He makes young men look and feel old. I know how tired I am after one of his shows. I can’t imagine how he and the band physically recover night after night.

This past year, Harrison and I planned our night out seeing Bruce’s The River Tour in Louisville.  We had our floor tickets in-hand and waited through the afternoon lottery process to see if we would be among the lucky few picked to be in the area closest to the stage. Bruce consciously plays to every single person in the arena or coliseum, including the cheap seat rafters and obstructed view seats, but everyone knows there is something magical in those first few rows where you can actually trade eye contact with the Boss and the members of the “E” Street Band.  We made it into the pit! Right in front of the stage! Amazing!

Springsteen kicked off the night by shouting, "Are you ready to be transformed!?!?!?"


Bruce and the band blew Harrison’s mind for 3 hours and 22 minutes while he and I were floating 2 inches off the ground 15 feet from the stage.

During one of his shows, Springsteen is constantly dancing, screaming, imploring, mugging, kicking, windmilling, crowd-surfing, climbing a drum riser, jumping on an amp, leaping off the piano. In return, the crowd participates in a display of communal adoration. Like pilgrims at a gigantic outdoor Mass—think John Paul II at Gdansk—they know their role: when to raise their hands, when to sway, when to sing, when to scream his name, when to bear his body, hand over hand, from the rear of the orchestra to the stage. “I want an extreme experience,” he says. He wants his audience to leave the arena, as he commands them, “With your hands hurting, your feet hurting, your back hurting, and your voice sore..!!” So the display of exuberance is critical.

When Springsteen is asked “How do you do it?” -- he describes those supernatural breakthrough moments between him and a giant concert audience as a magic trick. “Eighty thousand rock ‘n’ roll fans waiting for you to pull something out of your hat, out of thin air, out of this world, something that before the faithful were gathered here today, was just a song-fueled rumor. I am here to provide proof of life to that ever elusive, never completely believable “us.”" “And then suddenly”—he snapped his fingers—“you catch it, and then, once you do, you may not want to stop. You have to create the show anew, and find it anew, on a nightly basis,” Springsteen said. “And sometimes,” he concluded, laughing, “it takes me longer than I thought it would. I tend to try and move to that place every night, to that moment where suddenly it’s just you and the audience; everything else has kind of fallen away ... time ... space.”

“Thank you, Louisville! The “E” Street Band LOVES you!!! (as if we needed to be reminded). We slowly strolled to the parking lot with huge smiles and ringing ears. We HAD been transformed.

Why is Springsteen driven to go through all that hard work night after night?!?!  “For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself,” he says. “Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it’s really great, pries that @#$% back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that and sends me back to the hotel with it. People carry that with them sometimes for a very long period of time."

Bruce's faithful fans experience…

Supernatural Hope…




Each one of these elusive elements: Hope, Community and Light -- are spiritually birthed when others are sacrificially and generously served. Boy, we all desperately need those today.

In his recent autobiography, Springsteen refers to his boyhood Catholic church as “the world where I found the beginning of my song.” Now, five decades later, Bruce is modeling (perhaps, unknowingly--perhaps not) God’s great generosity to mankind, because God not only promises to provide, He promises to do so generously. Bruce is beautifully mirroring the power and story of God. By taking the power of the “E” Street Band’s musical excellence and creativity (God’s beautiful gift) and serving his fans with passion, abandon and extreme generosity -- the atmosphere mysteriously changes. Paul says, "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity.  Yes!" Our God meets and explosively surpasses our human needs.

AND God asks us to sacrificially serve others with that same extraordinary generosity. Paul instructed Timothy; “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extremely generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last -- gaining life that is truly life.”

How can we give more generously of our time, our talents and our resources?

Where can I start to give more extravagantly to my clients, family and friends? To my fellow students, my co-workers, my neighbors? To those in great need?

First, we must expect God to provide for us just like He promised.

Then as we do, let’s embrace the freedom and motivation to serve others generously like God serves us.

Then, through our God-like generosity, let’s believe we will see and experience hope, community and light “magically” born in the atmosphere of our world and in our relationships with those around us.

That we may all experience and give "life that is truly life" --

Eternal treasure.


  1. “Thunder Road” Written by Bruce Springsteen, ©1975 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing
  2. David Remnick, “We Are Alive,” The New Yorker; July 30, 2013
  3. Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run, Simon & Schuster, ©2016, Forward pp. xii  
  4. David Kamp, “The Book by Bruce,” Variety, September 2016
  5. Brian Hiatt, “True Bruce,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 2016, p. 36
  6. Remnick
  7. Springsteen p. 17
  8. Philippians 4:19-20
  9. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 MSG
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