My wife and I were driving to dinner one afternoon when she excitedly exclaimed “there’s a rainbow!” I looked to my right and sure enough, there was the rainbow in all it’s splendor following an afternoon shower. This rainbow moment provided a much-appreciated spark to a hectic day.
“Life is difficult” reads the opening line of The Road Less Traveled by the late M. Scott Peck. “Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters”, writes Scott.
I would concur with the late Dr. Peck. Life is difficult, and that’s why it’s important to appreciate moments like a rainbow appearing in the sky. In the ancient Hebrew text of the Bible, God placed his “bow” in the sky as a sign He would never again destroy life by a flood. I believe God places within us a childlike delight at seeing a rainbow because it reminds us that despite our difficulties, God is present.
Our Careers are Difficult
I enjoy my career ministering at a homeless shelter. It provides the understanding that my life’s work goes toward helping others. Yet, most days I have to deal with some unpleasant task or another. In reality, our jobs are tough much of the time.
We go to college or trade school, get a degree, get a job and bravely charge into the world. Yet, we inevitably run headlong into the face that even the best jobs entail difficulties. The old saying that “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” makes for a good quote. But for the majority of people, it isn’t true all the time. At a homeless shelter, I sometimes get tired of dealing with other people’s problems. I’ve got problems of my own. In some ways most careers are designed to help someone else solve a problem. Life becomes difficult when we tilt too much toward fixing other people and not enough toward fixing ourselves.
Simple Steps to Stay Positive
Yet, we can fight back. Look around and you see that some people don’t give in to the “life is hard, then you die” syndrome. Look for the rainbow moments in each day, those little moments where a smile, a hello or, dare we say this in the Me-Too era, a hug can brighten our day. We can all take simple steps to stay positive.
Often we approach life like it really should be easy when in fact it is not. When we accept that life is difficult, we can begin working the disciplines necessary to keep a good attitude. Yes, you want a meaningful career. Yes, your job is sometimes going to stink. However, learn to appreciate life’s rainbow moments.
We don’t do anything to deserve a rainbow. It just shows up and brightens up our day. For that minute or so, we gaze into the sky and see a big, beautiful picture. We forget about our troubles and concentrate on something much more awesome that our little problems.
Life is difficult, but life is also beautiful. The same life that gives us troubles, woe and heartache gives us children, grandparents and rainbows. To understand this great dichotomy is to place ourselves on a path of true contentment.