- a bright spot in the sky appearing on either side of the sun, formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals high in the earth’s atmosphere.
Have you ever noticed that when you are having a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month (hence no recent blog posts) the things that make you the happiest, the activities that bring joy, the places that bring contentment, that they are the things that you tend to ignore and reject?
Sitting in a lump on the couch do you find yourself staring at your yoga mat or your running shoes and knowing that getting use out of either of those physical activities will boost your energy and help you shuck off the cloak of moodiness that you have bundled yourself in? Falling out of bed every morning do you pass up the Bible sitting on your nightstand to instead hurriedly get ready for the day, because you hit the snooze button five too many? Do you stare idly at IWasteSoMuchTime.com and hope to get some satisfaction out of the cleverness that others have created instead of going over to your blog and expressing your own wit and wisdom?
Okay, so maybe those are scenes pulled directly from my life, but maybe there are some scenarios of your own that you are thinking of now. I know that they days where I work out are better than the days that I don’t. I know that the days that start in my Bible and in prayer are more joyous and meaningful than the empty days when I go without. I know that the days where I write and blog and create and think are better than the days where I mindlessly par-ooze the internet.
I know all of these things, yet it is hard to convince myself to do them. The ‘blah’ in me has settled in and wants to make a home. The ‘brokenness’ in me is enjoying the lazy, sulking and it is doing all it can to convince me to accept this new blasé way of living.
But enough is enough, and eventually we have to start digging ourselves out. The last few days has found me back in prayer and back to my bible. Today I learned a valuable lesson about prayer and actively seeking.
A couple of weeks ago I finally crossed “Heaven Is For Real” off of my reading bucket list. This book is about a young boy who had a near death experience and watched his surgery and his grief stricken parents from the lap of Jesus on the throne of heaven. The book is written by this boys father, who reveals to us how he and his wife started to hear about the wonderful imagery that their son had seen and were shown the amazing lessons in love that their son had learned.
During the story the dad goes outside and is perplexed by a rainbow that has appeared. It had not rained that day. As he calls his family out to look at this wonder, his little boy is nonchalant about the amazing fact, but just stares in joy. He tells his parents that of course the rainbow is there, he had prayed for it. He had not seen one in a while and he was starting to miss them, as he had seen a wondrous one in heaven around the throne of God.
So yesterday during my prayer, I asked for a rainbow to brighten up my gray days. You see, the sun no longer meets my window as my alarm clock goes off. The crystal that used to cast morning rainbows around my room now hangs in the window only to great the gray mornings. There haven’t been any rainbows in a while. So I asked for one. Selfish? Yea. Silly? Maybe. But hey, why not.
As my head hit the pillow that night I realized that I had forgotten all about my prayer. I had barely even looked to the sky to see if God gave me a miracle. Soon I was asleep, and the next morning I forgot about my rainbow request, but God didn’t.
“Did you see the sundogs in the sky this morning? They were so bright and colorful!” my supervisor exclaimed at work. As we explained to my coworker that a sundog is a bright spot, or rainbow strip, that appears by the sun at times, but most likely on really cold days, I realized again that I had blown it.
My rainbow. How often do we ask God for things, maybe for patience or more self-control? How often do we ask God to help provide for us or to show us what path to take? How often do we pray for strength and confidence only to go out into the world and forget that we had even asked for it. Or even if we do remember, how easy is it not to do our part in looking for God’s answers?
I have been praying for this slump to leave and for my joy to return, but the things that I can do, the exercise, the devotions, the blogging, I just ignore it all. Do I believe that God could work a miracle and make me happy and content without me lifting a finger? Of course I do, but that does not mean that I should be lazy and fail to do my own part.
On my way home from work I took the interstate south, the sun shining almost directly in front of me. There, shining next to the sun where the sundogs. There was almost a complete rainbow halo around the sun. The top and the bottom faded into the blue sky, but to the left and the right were the bright spots with the hint of their rainbow colors shining through.
I asked for a rainbow, I got a parhelion. God always answers our prayers. They may not be answered exactly how we want them to be and we may have to do our part, but there is always an answer.