Looking at the Raindrops and Missing the Rainbow

May 8th, 2010 by Steve

I am a skeptic by nature, a logical thinker, a science minded person. Ever since I was a child I would take things apart to figure out how they worked. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ was so important to me. My mother still tells stories (this Thanksgiving as an example) about how I took apart the VCR one day to figure out how it played tapes, and subsequently, could not put it back together.

I don’t know when the logic bug became the definition of who I was but along the way I accumulated an enormous base of knowledge, an encyclopedia of statistics and facts. In school I favored the hard sciences: chemistry, math, physics, etc. As my education continued through college I majored in business and computer science. I was as logical and scientific as can be and I loved it.

Knowing how something worked, the nuts the bolts, the facts, the statistics became my passion. I would crave intellectual arguments where I would showcase my logical acumen and pull on my factual database to out talk my opponents. I’d decimate any that didn’t share my opinion and walk away feeling superior.

My logical nature served me well in my early life until I started delving deeper and deeper into the nature of my spirituality. Like anything else in my life, when I first started the journey into spirituality, I researched and researched. I read all the basics: Bible, Koran, Torah, Tipitaka, Vedas, etc. The research gave me the basic tenants of the faiths but nothing seemed to fit who I was, so I kept reading.

I continued reading about the history of the religions, the origins, where all the dogma and traditions come from. The more and more I read, the more I realized many religions were political control structures used by people in power to control the masses. I leaned toward the Eastern religions but started developing my own flavor since none seemed to fit.

As a byproduct of my spiritual research I became an encyclopedia of religious facts. When my Christian friends would talk about their faith, my argumentative nature would kick in and I’d spout all the historical facts about their religion. I taught them ‘The Truth’ about their religions as I saw it. I would ask them: Why do you celebrate Christmas in December if Jesus was born in March? Why do you put down Wicca and Pagans if their Christian holidays were based on Pagan rituals?

Ironically, the more I kept digging, the more cynical I became, and further I moved from my original goal of finding my spirituality. I used my logic, facts and knowledge to denounce the simpletons and their backward, emotional dependency on these archaic, outdated religions. Not surprisingly, I pushed many people away from me, so to keep my friendships I learned to bite my tongue and let them have their religions as I quietly laughed at them.

Many years later, after a lot more living, I found myself in a different spiritual place. I enjoyed my life, friends and family. I had developed my own spirituality that believed in God and Intention. However, I still held on to my notions about religions. I believed that I had spent time and energy focusing on my development while others just accepted what they were told. I was no longer on a crusade to prove them wrong or show my superiority. I believed in live and let live, but I said it with an arrogance that didn’t match the spiritual being I wanted to be. Much like a college mathematician talking math with a 2nd grader, I believed they were right up to a point but I had greater knowledge. The 2nd grader thinks the math they learned is all there is and I, the college graduate, know it is just the beginning.

God opened my eyes, as is often God’s way, through the simplest of methods: listening to one of my friends children talk about a rainbow with her father. My friend was explaining how rainbows work to his daughter and she listened attentively for a few minutes, then getting bored, she looked at him and said “who cares how it works it’s pretty.” In that moment I understood that I was looking at the rain drops but missing the rainbow.

To draw another analogy, I was analyzing every brush stroke in a work of art but I would never step back to admire the painting as a whole. I would admonishing people for not knowing the artist’s style, history, chemical composition of the paint. They were in awe of the artistry and feelings the painting inspired. I got lost in the technicalities rather than the spirit of religion. My religious friends were appreciating the spirit of their faith, the closeness to God, the love of family and community. If my faith brings me happiness, love and fulfillment why does it matter what the details are?

Who cares how it works if it is beautiful?

Do not let yourself get tied up in the details of life, faith or love if you miss the beauty it is supposed to bring you. Look at the rainbow for its colors, look at a painting for the artistry, enjoy life for the experience and forget the details.

Do you get caught up in the righteousness of things? Caught up in the news, the politics, debates, etc? Ask yourself does it really matter? Is the argument worth having? What is all the knowledge for, why are you accumulating it and most importantly does any of it make you happy? If the answer is ‘not really’ then let it go, stop analyzing the how, what and why and just enjoy the beauty of the moment.

To remind myself of this fact I have a slogan taped above my computer that I read every day:

“Forget the how and why and enjoy the ‘is’.”


1 Response to “Looking at the Raindrops and Missing the Rainbow”

  1. Gvalip

    Simple mesmerizing..felt like I am reading my own story to the last word. My whole life ran thru my eyes like a fast moving flashback. You put words to events, characters and happenings in my life. Though it is an old post, I chanced upon, while searching for Rainbow of intention, but I will surely keep a tab on it from henceforth.

    Wish I knew you, earlier in life, as a friend.

    Many Thanks,

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