Following Rainbows

From the front seat of the minivan, I couldn’t see the video, but I heard clearly a familiar song from my childhood. My granddaughters in the backseat were watching The Sound of Music. Our voices escalated louder-and-louder till we reached the crescendo:

“Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
Till you find your dream.”

The movie ended with those words, and in the moments that followed I began to think about the song and the message it conveys. Where have we heard that script before? Everywhere! The world preaches from the same sermon notes, “Go after your dreams,” “Follow your heart,” “Never let go of your goal.”

On the one hand, it’s just a movie (one of the classics), but on the other hand, there’s an oh-so-subtle danger in its anti-Christian message (don’t let a convent full of nuns deceive you).

Consider Jesus’ words: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Mark 8:34-37

Three points:

1) The world says, “Follow your heart.” Jesus says, “Follow Me.”

2) Following Jesus means dying to ourselves and our dreams—choosing his agenda over ours.

3) Not following Jesus will cost you more than you realize now.

Another part of the song:
“A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.”

The song tells us what our dream will require, and what it will take from us:

all the love we can give… every day of our life… for as long as we live.

In other words, it will cost us everything.

Jesus said that too. Some people will pursue their dream relentlessly, but come up empty because all their willpower could not bring about their unattainable dream. Some will come to the end of their life having fulfilled all their dreams, and realize it did not bring the satisfaction they worked so hard for. It did not meet their deepest longings. And it robbed them of living a better dream—the dream God had for them.

We have a saying in my church, “Don’t follow your heart—inform your heart.”

Since your heart is desperately wicked and unreliable, don’t trust it. Instead speak truth to your heart. For example:

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever” Romans 11:36.

All things are FROM God, and FOR God, and BECAUSE of God.

Have you ever wondered why God waters the land in the remotest part of the earth where no one lives? (Job 38:26). Why do flowers bloom and animals frolic in places humans don’t visit? Why do millions of complex sea creatures exist hidden from our eyes?

Because the world isn’t about us—it’s about him.

You were made by him, and for him, and because of him. Your life has a purpose much bigger than your puny dreams.

Somewhere we bought the lie that God wants to fulfill all our desires, aspirations and dreams—to help us build our kingdom. God loves us way too much to let us settle for lesser dreams. Jesus doesn’t want to be a guest in your kingdom. He wants you to be at home in his.

So what should we do with our dreams?
• Put Christ in the center of your dream. Make it about his glory, not yours.
• Die to your dream daily so that God’s dream for you can live.
• Pursue knowing and loving God with all your heart and soul.
• Don’t follow rainbows—follow Jesus.

These are my thoughts from The Sound of Music. Can you think of any lines from other classic movies that steer us in the wrong direction?

8 comments to Following Rainbows

  • Susan M.

    I appreciated this post so very much!

    One line from a movie that comes to me is from “The King and I”. In this movie, at one point the King is dictating a letter to Miss Anna, and when she corrects him on a mistake that he has made in the letter he replies “You fix up!” Isn’t that what we all try to do? Fix up our problems ourselves, instead of immediately running to our God and asking Him to fix them? And our own efforts are worthless anyway. He is the only One who CAN fix up our problems!

    • Hi Susan, So interesting. That’s another classic movie that I’ve seen multiple times. We have to stop and think about it because the messages can be so subtle. Thanks for jumping in with this topic.

      • Susan M.

        Do you have a blog post you can point me to on how to review what you have memorized? I have memorized a couple chapters here and there, and been abundantly blessed. But not having a systematic plan for review, I find that I soon lose what I have memorized. I know the key is review, but am not sure how to review in a consistent manner while still moving forward with memorizing new things. I would so love to regain those chapters that I have forgotten!

  • Great word Janet!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Chérie

    Now THAT is the Gospel. The real one. The one that saves. None other can.
    Thank you!