On chasing rainbows and having patience

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A rainy evening a few months ago, I saw the biggest, most beautiful rainbow appear while standing at the kitchen sink. I could see where it ended from the window — very nearby in the field behind my grandmother’s house.

Since it looked like it was so close, my little cousins and I jumped into my car and we went off in search of the rainbow’s end. Once we drove down the street a little, we could very clearly see where the rainbow ended on both sides. I’d never seen a rainbow like that before. We decided to rush off to the end we thought was closer, but once we approached it we couldn’t find it anymore, and could barely see the rainbow at all. We were too late. Or simply, like my aunt warned, a rainbow always knows when you’re chasing it.

This proved right when after being unsuccessful with that one end, we went off in search of the other and the same thing happened again. We came home without a pot of gold, but realized we had a good time anyways. It was exciting to earnestly enjoy searching for something and realize that it was OK not to find it.

This experience is much like the concept of patience, or why we need it. These last few months have been a HUGE lesson in patience for me as I have come to a few crossroads in life. What I didn’t anticipate though, was exactly how much patience I was going to need. Many a night (or morning, or in my car, or in the middle of the day at my desk) I would plead with my Heavenly Father to bless me with the experiences I both needed and wanted. I tried to align my desires with His plan for me, but would often forget a key element in the process. PATIENCE.

I recently saw a tweet from President Thomas S. Monson (yeah, you can follow the prophet on Twitter, guys) that said, “Patience may be required as we watch, wait, and work for a promised blessing to be fulfilled.”

Watch, wait, and work.

It’s interesting to me that while our Father in Heaven wants us to work for and be worthy of blessings, he also wants us to watch and wait. How much would we learn if we were automatically given what we wanted as soon as possible, anyways?

My lesson in patience — and chasing rainbows — has taught me that Heavenly Father knows exactly what He’s doing, even if I don’t, and to trust in Him. Trusting and having patience are so intertwined, it’s almost as if one can’t be without the other when you think about it.

There’s an article in the August Ensign that I really love. I remember skimming it one night, half-awake, but then my Sunday School class this week read it and I was like, yep, I need this. It’s called “Patience: More Than Waiting.”

In it, the author shares an Elder Neal A. Maxwell quote that says:

“Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be.”

Watch, wait, and work with willingness and wonder. Like you’re chasing a rainbow.