After the rain...
One day when my children were little, they came in excited to tell me about "Rainbow Pond" they had discovered. It was a huge magic pond with rainbows and beautiful fish in it. It was so deep they could see the clouds in the sky on the other side of the world. Jumping up and down, they begged me to help them make a boat to float on it and go to the other side. So, I went with them to see this pond...upset that they somehow had ventured beyond our street and their boundaries without my knowing it.
“Mom! Mom!” My son and daughter came in the front door, slamming it against the wall. Behind them ,the sceen door bounced off its frame.
Both of my preschoolers were as excited as I had ever seen them. I dried my hands on a towel, and leaned against the kitchen counter to listen to their story.
“We found a magic pond!” Blaine told me.
“It has fish in it, and we can see the clouds clear on the other side of the world!” Kiersty said as she jumped up and down.
Blaine spread his arms as wide as he could. “It is huge! Can you help us make a boat so we can float on it to the other side? We want to ride on the rainbow inside the water!”
“Please can you come see it? Please?” They begged.
We hurried out of the house together, , I was enchanted by their excitement, but also dismayed that they had somehow ventured beyond our street, and their boundaries unbeknownst to me!,
We traveled out our door, down the front steps and 50 yards down the street to the corner. When I stopped to look for traffic before we crossed the street, I noticed they had stopped behind me and were standing looking at the water puddle in the gutter.
We walked down the front steps and fifty yards down the street to the corner, holding hands and swinging our arms. When I stopped to look for traffic before we crossed the street,, I felt them let go of my hands. I pivoted around to see what they were doing behind me. They were looking at the puddle of water in the gutter.
"LOOK!" They said--pointing to the water. I took the few steps over to them, and gazed at what they were pointing to. There, floating in the water from the rain was a film of oil...making rainbow colors. The sky was now clear and the clouds were visible in the water's reflection. This little puddle is what they saw as a huge pond, deeper than the ocean and as big as the world...because they were looking at it all by itself, in no context whatsoever with the surroundings.
“Look!” They said, pointing to the water. I begrudgingly took the few stops over to where they stood. My gaze followed their pointing fingers, until I noticed the cause of their excitement. There, floating in the water from the rain was a film of oil…making rainbow colors. The clear sky and billowy clouds reflected off the water. This little puddle is what they saw as a hug pnd, deeper than the ocean and as big as the world…because they were looking at it all by itself, in no contxt whatsoever with the surroundings.
As they delighted me in their innocent excitement, we enjoyed the beauty of that oily puddle of water, called Rainbow Pond.
The next day brought an unexpected transformation of that delight as my son came in sobbing with something clasped in his little hand. "What's wrong?" I asked him, convinced he had cut himself. He opened his hand and showed me a very soggy worm.
"I moved all my pet worms to Rainbow Pond and now they are all dead," He sobbed. We trudged out to the pond. All that remained was a little bit of muddy oily brown water with a few puffy worms, bordered by several dried up worms. What he had seen as a magic pond one day had become a death to his dreams the next.
Over the years, I have thought of that pond, and how it represents many of life’s struggles. We see things in our life that are far greater than we can comprehend, and they either inspire or discourage us. But if we stood back and looked at them, we'd see they were only puddles and that there is so much more out there for us - things much greater and better than the puddle we are stuck in. We settle for shallow inspirations that soon dry up, or we drown in the muck of a puddle we see as an ocean. We throw our dreams and aspirations into them and never go beyond their borders, often without consulting God for His plans. Then we grieve when our dreams do not come out as we planned and our Rainbow Pond dries up. All along, we have been in the middle of God's path for our lives, but got stuck trusting in an imitation of a promise instead of the real thing.
Just as my children learned to appreciate the small beauty they see each day, through the years they have also learned to look for the real and lasting things God gives us. Hopefully, we can all learn to not get wrapped up in the temporary things and, instead, keep seeking the eternal. We can learn to enjoy the Rainbow Ponds in our days without throwing in our dreams and hopes and faith, trusting those to the One who gave them to us! We learn from John 14 that we can look to Jesus to find our Way.
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" (John 14:5)
Please read John 14:5-10
Thinking of an ocean as our dreams and aspirations, here are some thoughts to ponder
1. What do I see as an ocean in other peoples' lives and wallow in self-pity because I am so lacking compared to them? Is their ocean really just a shallow puddle?
2. Do I know the real ocean of God's will for my life? Or will I be fooled by some imitation?
3. Is Rainbow Pond God's plan for my life or have I settled for less? Have I even asked Him about His plans for me?
4. Have I settled for the beauty of some oil in a puddle instead of looking for ocean?
5. Do I look at the ocean from God's eye view or only my own limited perspective?
6. What difference can I find in God's eternal ocean and your own Rainbow Pond? Which do you really want?
7. How can I really know the way God wants me to go? How do I allow John 14 to apply to my life?
Copyright 2004 - 2008 Glenda Bell
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