I saw a rainbow the other day. It was arching into a canyon between Maple Mountain and its neighbor against a dark blue-grey canvas of clouds. It was beautiful and maybe even inspiring.
As I considered wishing on it, a well-known song popped into my mind:
"Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true."
At first glance, the song is nice and hopeful. But I have a confession to make. As fun as that song is to play on the ukulele, I dislike it. A lot. It doesn't seem like the right kind of hope to have. There's the "the grass is greener on the other side" hope, and there is hope in that which is sure and consistent.
I believe in hope. I believe in hope for change and hope to remain the same. I believe in the "tomorrow is another day" type of hope, too. But that's because tomorrow is another day. Some things will change and some will not. I'm not discouraging hope in the unlikely; I'm referring to what you decide to put your faith in. To avoid getting too cryptic, allow me to relate what I'm trying to say to my rainbow.
A rainbow is a beautiful, bright creation. But a rainbow is also an illusion. It is the effect of sunlight filtering through water droplets. It is a fleeting gift of color, fleeting enough that it couldn't stay around long enough to know you well enough to grant the wishes tossed towards it.
And you know something about rainbows? You can't see them unless you turn your back to the sun.
We get so excited when we see something bright and new and beautiful as a rainbow in the sky. We want to give it our confidence because it is lovely and happy and therefore trustworthy. It is a token of the end of a storm, after all. But you can't see it without the aid of the sun and you can't see it without forgetting about the sun.
I believe in belief. Don't stop hoping for something more in your life if you need that something more. But sometimes the very thing we need to believe in to get what we need is right beside us and has been forever. Why put your faith in something inconstant, no matter how attractive, when you have the unfailing sun to trust? Yes, you ought to expect cloudy days and long, dark nights. But the sun will always be there, even when it's hard to find. Don't turn your back on it just because there's something new out there. It's the only real life-giving light we have and it won't disappear when the air clears.