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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Elusive as the Rainbow?

I'll never forget the moment. In the middle of a spring rainstorm, a friend and I looked out towads the forested bluffs surrounding the field adjoining our dorm. We were astounded to witness the end of a rainbow planted not far from the edge of the parking lot.

I can still remember staring in astonishment at the brilliant color rising out of the grassy field, into the sky, and over the low bluff that ran alongside the drive. We could look through the colors as through glass and see the trees waving in the breeze on the other side.

My friend and I stared at each other for a moment, both with the same idea; to stand bathed in that color!

Laughing, we both sprinted towards the end of the rainbow, not caring that there was no pot of gold. It would be enough to "touch" the refracted light that had, until that day, never been even CLOSE to tangible. That afternoon, the light seemed tangible and we could not pass up this opportunity!

I can still feel the rough pavement under my shoes turning into the soft grass of the field, and I can still remember the retreating colors, first to the end of the field, and then to the trees, and finally, into the bluffs, still visible against the rocky wall at the end of the ravine.

We knew we'd lost, and yet, it was a blessed moment; how many people have ever even SEEN the end of a rainbow, much less chased it in any hope of catching it?

Once again, today, in response to a comment from a friend, I was thinking about holiness and how elusive it seems.

Holiness is intangible, too, yet it can be possessed in a way that a rainbow cannot. At the same time, though, it seems that the pursuit of holiness is much like our experience in pursuing the rainbow; we can see it, we are close enough to touch it, and yet as we run towards it, it retreats far into the valley.

I can't truly compare this with authentic holiness, though, in that there is another dimension to consider. Holiness maybe only SEEMS to retreat, but in reality, as it "retreats" from our grasp, it is actually God beckoning us further, to follow that path even into thick forest and dark valleys. But the Promise still remains; we must only remain faithful and not give up.

I only wish that I could find the motivation to pursue holiness with as much effort as I had in that sprint on the day I sought to possess the rainbow.


uncle jim said...

we're not in Kansas anymore ... are we?

Terry Nelson said...

Uncle Jim - LOL!

Adoro - cool story.

Adoro te Devote said...

Uncle Jim ~ Well, I dunno. I know I'm in Minnesota. Where YOU are...only YOU know! LOL! Are YOU in Kansas and have you EVER been there? :-)

Terry ~ Random thoughts arising from an earlier conversation with a friend. (Did you know I have friends? It's really cool!) :-)

uncle jim said...

i was thinkin' of judy garland and that over the rainbow song in wizard of oz and dorothy telling her dog toto that "we're not in kansas anymore."

Maureen said...

Heh. If holiness were right across the parking lot and visibly labeled as such, it would be a great deal easier to chase it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Your story actually has a healing affect after the loss of my father. I too have seen and chased the end of a rainbow, but I was not fortunate enough at the time to visualize what you share here. Again. Thank you! HelenMae