When I was a child, I was a firm believer in leprechauns, those funny little men who hid pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, which you could find if you were quick enough - or smart enough - to catch up with the rainbow before it moved on.
I remember searching carefully for the end of every rainbow I saw, and walking towards it as fast as I could, only to be disappointed every time.
As I grew older, I realised that the truth about rainbows was far more wonderful than a mere pot of gold to hoard or spend - God's promise never again to flood the world, and a mark of all the promises He has made in His Word, and will fulfil (or has fulfilled). Now, when I see a rainbow in the sky, I admire its beauty, and thank God, because I know the true reason for its presence.
Many people are like the child I was, looking for 'quick-fix' ways to improve their lifestyle. Most of us will condemn Lotto and other forms of gambling, and there are true stories which show that the 'pot of gold' therein is an illusion - eg. the man recently who bought a four-wheel drive with his winnings, and was killed the first time he drove it; and the occasional tales of people who win large prizes, and are bankrupt shortly after.
Some of the network marketing schemes use the same philosophy: make megabucks by selling the scheme to others, and then you can be famous and retire early to the flashest home you can find, or (if this appeals more to your sense of decency) give huge amounts to charity without stinting yourself!
Other ideas abound, as many as man's fertile, greedy imagination can devise: the 'foolproof' schemes to make money out of the latest fad, or to take advantage of difficult financial situations, or invest money in 'high-risk' businesses in the hope that they may come off all right.
God's Word does not condemn people for being rich. Joseph of Arimathea, one of Jesus' good friends, was a rich man who used the wealth God gave him in the best way possible: to benefit his Saviour. Job was a rich man who became poor, but later gained more than he had in the beginning, and this was counted a blessing for him.
On the other hand, Jesus told one rich young man to sell all his wealth, and give it away; and He roundly condemned, in a parable, the selfish man whose main aim in life was to build more barns to store his goods, so that he could live in ease for the rest of his life.
What is our main aim in life? Often our motives are confused. We say we want to worship God and love Him with all our hearts, but our actions don't always bear us out. God knows our inner thoughts, our worries and desires, and we can trust Him to do what is best for His people - always.
My childish days of chasing rainbows are over. The rainbow is
there in all its glory, in the person of Christ; and those He
takes charge of can want no 'fools' gold.'
Glenys Jackson (Pukekohe)
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Faith in Focus /NZ Reformed Church / firstname.lastname@example.org / revised August 96 / Copyright 1996