Saturday, March 10, 2012

The beauty of a rainbow

I like to watch children at play.  Their imaginations and curiosity are truly unlimited.  They will fight fires as easily as they blow out birthday candles, dance like Cinderella at the prince’s ball, they stomp in rain puddles just to see how high water can splash, and at the end of the day feel like superheroes because theirs is a world of pure absolute joy, where ability and pleasure flawlessly click.  Their true colors shine.

That is, until they realize they are being watched.  Suddenly the fire is bigger than the firefighter; Cinderella is afraid she will miss a dance step; puddle stomping becomes a cardinal sin because of the mess it may create.  Ability and pleasure suddenly clash, and the superhero now is the one in need of being rescued.  True colors that were shining a few moments ago have suddenly faded.

What gives someone the right to cast shadows on the true colors of a child’s imagination?  Ok, proper boundaries are necessary, as with the puddle stomping boy-wonder, but with every puddle?  And at what age is it appropriate for imagination and curiosity to be dimmed? 
The thing we do that brings us pure absolute joy, where we feel like we are truly in our element, when our ability and pleasure flawlessly click – That is a gift from God, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We are told in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, “There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given by the same Spirit.  There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways to work. But the same God makes it possible for all of us to have all those different things.   The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.”

Your “click” may be cooking.  It may be listening to people’s problems, or giving comfort to someone going through a rough patch.  Maybe it’s dancing, or painting, or working with wood.  You might be a person who is in a position where you can give financially to a favorite cause, and enjoy doing so.  Or a teacher whose joy is watching a student’s face light up when they understand something for the first time.  Whatever your joy is, it is often something you would do for free, although getting paid for it wouldn’t be so bad either. 
When we do these things that bring us joy, our true colors shine.  As I close, I leave you with this ponder:

If everyone does the things that bring them joy, and does those for the benefit of others and for the glory of God instead of just themselves, how brilliant would the resulting rainbow of true colors be?

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