Life takes place in the threshold of a million countless colors. Many times, we do not recollect all of these colors, but they are always present with us. Colors represent our past and influence our future; each and every vibrant color we contain comes from a moment, and all of those moments together make up a lifetime.
There are two kinds of colors in life. The first, are those we choose to bring into our lives—intentional colors. The second, are those which come into our lives of their own accord—natural colors. The colors we choose are a pigment purposefully brought into our lives because we believe they will manifest our happiness, show our spontaneity, and prove our power and control. The ones that occur on their own, however, transpire much more frequently. They sprout up quietly out of our happiness and our joy, our pain and our wreckage, and even our contentedness and mediocrity. Sometimes they stay hidden under cover of brighter colors who shine more eagerly, but other times they push themselves to the forefront of reality and make known their significance.
It is important to recognize and be thankful for all of our hues; there is a reason that one of the first things children are taught in school is to identify their colors. As the saying goes, one is successful when they ‘pass with flying colors’. In the same way, one has failed when their life passes them with flying colors. The precious thing about colors is that they are one in the same with moments; once they pass, they rarely appear again. I don’t want to be responsible for missing parts of my life because I am not present, or don’t acknowledge the moment I’m in. Yet, it is so easy to fall victim to the failures of many and miss out on the most vivacious, animated, and energetic bits of existence.
The symbol most commonly associated with colors is, of course, the rainbow. While there may be no pot of gold at the end, it is still worth something much more valuable than gold: hope. Genesis tells of the corruption of the earth from early on:
“The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” Genesis 6:5-6
When I read that the Lord regretted ever creating man, it hurts my heart. I think of all the evil in the world today and all the ways that I have messed up personally, and I cannot help but wonder if God feels the same way today as he did then. We read on to find that, in his distress and hurt, the Lord sends a flood to wipe out the earth.
“So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals, and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’” Genesis 6:7
“And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.” Genesis 7:19-23
It is dispiriting that man betrayed the Lord and his laws, and chose to live in immense sin. Because of His love, though, this forlorn story has a happy ending. God stops the rain, the waters eventually subside, and the Lord leaves his faithful and trustworthy servant, Noah, in charge of repopulating the earth. He also makes a very special covenant with him:
“I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Genesis 9:11.
This covenant has never been broken, and thanks to some colors, we will never forget that.
“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.’” Genesis 9:12-15
Just as the rainbow is a sure sign of the Lord’s promise to mankind, the colors of our lives are a sure sign of hope, because we know that they are all a part of God’s divine plan, interwoven into each of us. The dark colors, the flashy colors, the bland colors, and the bold colors all come from him.
The truth of the situation is that we let God down then, and we let God down now. The only difference is the hope we have in Jesus to save us and the promise that the Lord will never destroy all his people again.
It would be easy to take this covenant for granted, and as humans, we are all guilty and enclose shortcomings. However, our job is to please the Lord and do his work to expand his kingdom. Living in color means taking the time to stop and look around once in a while, and requires getting out of the routine of things. Living in color is considering all of the things life could be: the impact we could have, the lives and circumstances we could change, and the capabilities we could have if we applied ourselves more. We can stay busy and sit silent as the colors of our life nonchalantly pass by and escape us, or we can embrace them as precious gifts of hope to uplift and encourage others, offering them the same hope that the righteous rainbow offers to us.