There is a Dr Seuss book called, ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’. It’s a zany children’s story about a fun loving character that embarks upon a life journey with zeal and fervor, anticipating the exciting places he will go, the adventurous things he will do and the interesting people he will meet. But there is one most dreaded, fearful place he never wants to go……The Waiting Place.
Apparently this is the most useless and gloomy place to encounter for here people are just, well, waiting. Somehow our clever friend manages to avoid it and heads off in another direction leaving those frustrated and overly bored visitors in The Waiting Place far behind.
Yet sooner or later everyone visits The Waiting Place – there really is no way around it. Here we are apparently stuck twiddling our thumbs for what can feel like eternity. What’s worse is often we come back to that place again and again. But is it that bad? Do we really have to sit in mindless boredom? Isn’t there an alternative to this way of bearing the boredom? Maybe, just maybe, there is a healthy way to wait.
Consider Noah who had to wait for the waters to subside….. or Mary who had to wait with child in the midst of questions and shame…..or Naomi and Ruth who waited in anticipation for Boaz to redeem them…..or Abraham who waited for God’s promise of a son…..we each can name what we are waiting on God for.
How would God have us wait in this place? Like Noah, Mary and the others, our Divine Creator asks us to wait by simply doing the next thing at hand, whatever that may be. Nothing too tricky about that. And while doing the next thing that presents, we trust and we hope, believing that the God who promises is the God who delivers.
Of course we can kick and shout, we can pout and grumble, we can whinge and whine. We are free to behave however we choose in the Waiting Place. Or we can choose to be still. We can choose to listen. We can choose to surrender and let the Divine take control. If we rest without resistance, a recreating process will begin. And the result? A beautiful creative work by the Master Creator’s hand in the unseen places of our heart. How are you responding in the Waiting Places of your life?