Sunday, January 07, 2007
(c) Staci Stallings, 2005
I've always loved rainbows, so this lesson was a little hard for me to learn. A few friends and I got together to sing-one of my favorite things to do. One of the songs we pulled out was about chasing rainbows. It said in effect that we're all just chasing pretty rainbows, but as pretty as they are, when we get there, they aren't what we thought they would be. Of course in the literal world, this is true. If you've ever tried to capture a rainbow, you know you can drive forever and never catch it. It changes, it moves, and then it disappears.
The concept of chasing pretty rainbows stayed with me as we continued to practice this song over the next several weeks, and I began to see how many rainbows I had been chasing. There was the rainbow of publication. The rainbow of success. The rainbow of achievement. The rainbow of others' approval and acceptance. Sometimes I got close. Sometimes I actually swiped my hand right through one. But always they would change, move, and then disappear.
Nearly instantly a new rainbow would appear on the vast plain of my life, and I would think, "Oh, I get it. It wasn't THIS rainbow that I really wanted at all. It was THAT one. Now if I can just figure out a way to get over there, then I'll be happy."
We all know about these rainbows. One is called education. If I just get through high school, then I'll be happy. If I just go to college, if I just get my masters, if I just, if I just... Then those rainbows start looking pale, and new rainbows appear. If I could just meet the man of my dreams, then life would be fabulous forever. Then it moves. If we could just get married... Again it moves. If we could just have kids... If he would just get this job, if I could just stay home, if we could just make enough to afford, if things weren't so busy, if we can just get through Christmas, if I just had enough work, if I didn't have so much work... Always those rainbows move.
First they are to the right and then to the left, backward, forward. But somehow those rainbows are never right here. Father Robert Barron calls it being scattered, and that's a very good word for it. Wherever you are, over there always looks better. Most frustratingly, sometimes over there is in several different places at once. You scramble, and you scrape to reach that other rainbow so life will get better. Then you will be happy.
The truth is all of those rainbows are illusions. Getting a rainbow will never make life better. The only way life gets better is to have the Maker of the Rainbows with you right now. When you have Him, chasing rainbows that the world says are important becomes far less important to the point of non-existent. You realize that the rainbows will not make you happy. In fact they keep you frustrated and scattered as long as you believe they are the treasure you are searching for. Only He can bring you the peace you are so desperate to find.
The Bible tells the story of the man who found a great treasure in a field. He went and sold all he owned so he could buy that field. The truth is the great treasure is Christ, and giving up all you own involves giving up striving for all those things the world says you have to have, all those pretty rainbows. The only true rainbow is the Rainbow Maker. So seek Him first, and all the other rainbows you most need will be added unto you. The best part is they will not require vast amounts of effort to reach. They will be "added" to your life.
It will be as if your whole life is filled with rainbows you never stopped long enough to really notice. The rainbows of the world are smoke-inconsequential and hollow. The rainbows of God are real and eternal.
So which kind of rainbow do you have right now? Which one do you want?
Want to know more about Him? Check out Staci's blog at: http://stacistallings.blogspot.com You'll feel better for the experience!