The Sound of Music serves as a modern parable for creators and dreamers, illustrating lessons such as how to deal with “moonbeams” and “misfits,” and the importance for people to venture beyond their comfort zones. In the 1965 Academy Award-winning musical, the Mother Superior at an Austrian abbey wisely advises Maria, a rambunctious novice who doesn’t appear to be cut out for service in a convent, to explore other vocations and avenues of interest, to best determine the destiny God has planned for her.
In a beautiful song, the Mother Superior tells Maria to “Climb every mountain, Search high and low; Follow every byway, Every path you know. Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow, ‘Till you find your dream.” This is good advice for anyone, but especially for all dreamers and creators. Today, let’s zero in on the lyrics “Follow every rainbow.”
In the Bible the rainbow symbolizes Hope and new beginnings.
- Someone once said, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” Fair enough. But after the rain comes the rainbow, appearing as the clouds dissipate and the sun starts shining through. The rainbow accompanies the beginnings of better “weather”; the start of a new and — since the rain is over — brighter tomorrow.
- Rainbows appear on the horizon, stretching across the sky in a band of refracted light that contains ALL the primary colors; a sign that one’s horizon (future) is filled with the full spectrum of possibilities — a rainbow of opportunities.
- In the Book of Genesis, a cataclysmic storm brought 40 days and nights of non-stop rain — and resulted in the Flood that covered the earth and ended a major chapter in the history of Creation. But after the storm, when the skies cleared, God placed a rainbow on the horizon as a sign of a bright new future filled with hope and opportunity. (See Genesis 7 – 9:17)
- God designated the rainbow a sign (and reminder) of His promises to us:
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures…. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures….” (Genesis 9:13-16 NIV)
So, when we “Follow every rainbow,” we are in essence pursuing all of God’s wonderful promises. We are walking in hope and faith, looking ahead to a bright future filled with new and exciting possibilities.
Application: Sometimes our specific gifts and talents, or the condition of our hearts, or our unique personality, background and experiences take us down paths we never planned; to places we never dreamed of. But when we know the Lord, we can trust Him (and His promises) — even when we “just don’t get it!” (See Proverbs 3:5-6 and Boot Camp 19.5)
In The Sound of Music, Maria had to trust God. She planned on being a nun — not a governess. She was convinced her gifts and talents could best be used inside the abbey — not in the home of the Von Trapp family. And last but far from least, she never could have imagined a future as the wife of Captain Von Trapp! (Yes, while working as a governess, Maria found her soulmate!)
For Maria, this last “bend in the road” is perhaps the most amazing of all, because when a novice becomes a nun she is “marrying” Jesus Christ. Now, that’s actually not as strange as it may seem. After all, the Bible describes everyone who commits their lives to Christ as composing a “Body” of believers; and this Body of believers has been designated as the Bride of Christ. (See Isaiah 62:5; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; and Revelation 21:9-10)
In Maria’s mind, being a wife to Captain Von Trapp, and a mother to his children, is not part of her destiny. All she ever wanted was to be a nun. Period. Case closed. End of story. Except that God had different plans….
Fellow creators and dreamers, it’s important to always “follow” the rainbow. In other words, it’s vital that we remain open to God’s faithful direction and leading. We must never become so set on our own plans that we miss out on what He wants to do in our lives: the future He has planned; the places He wants to take us; the things He wants us to accomplish. Which, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11, are far better than anything we could ever imagine or hope for.
It’s essential for all of Christ’s followers to regularly read, meditate on, and even recite “The Lord’s Prayer” — not as a ritual, but as a reminder of who God is in our lives, and why He placed us here on this earth: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10 ESV)
Both Pastor Jentezen Franklin and Christian counselor Dr. David Hawkins (neither of whom are Catholic, by the way) recommend that we believers recite The Lord’s Prayer throughout the day, and meditate on what it states. Dr. Hawkins recommends adding Psalm 23, also. (“The Lord is my Shepherd”)
Basically, every important decision we make in life boils down to just two choices: our way or God’s way. In this age of super-independence, most people choose to have it their way. Many rebel against God’s Word, truths, and commandments because they don’t like them; or because they feel His principles, precepts and standards will “cramp their style”; or because doing things God’s way is NOT politically correct. Such people think they know what is right. But, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)
Maria chose to do things God’s way, even though His plans didn’t line up with her own. As we stated previously, she took all the right steps for staying in God’s perfect will:
- She sought Godly counsel;
- She listened to and heeded the advice of a strong spiritual leader;
- And, she submitted to spiritual authority — which takes humility. (See 1 Peter 5:5)
Sooner or later we all find ourselves at the crossroads of life, facing circumstances that require us to step out in faith, into uncharted waters. Sooner or later we’re called upon to tap into talents, abilities, or inner strengths and qualities we previously never knew we had; or to submit with patience and humility to wrongs and injustices; to hazard storms and weather the “rain”! But behind every rain cloud there’s a rainbow waiting to appear.
Never forget, God’s ways are perfect indeed, and it’s quite probable that awaiting you within, or on the other side of, such challenging circumstances, is a Divine appointment or a Holy assignment orchestrated by the hand of God.
This is the truth Maria learned in The Sound of Music. God had a perfect match for her, made in heaven, and a duty just as sacred as serving in a convent: becoming a mother to several grateful children. And by submitting to God’s will and authority, and doing things His way, Maria was used to restore and strengthen the unity of a family. No small feat for a dreamer who thought she was destined to be a nun.
“…My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)
So “Climb every mountain … follow every rainbow, ’till you find your dream.”