C.S. Lewis said, “A story worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then.” I think Dr. Seuss passes this test. After I read his stories to my children, their meaningful layers would emerge in the days ahead. One of everyone’s favorites has to be Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Here’s an excerpt from it about…
“The Waiting Place.”
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
Dr. Seuss calls it a “useless place,” but it need not be. Here are a few simple rules to remember for the next time you find yourself in “The Waiting Place.”
1) The Teacher is silent during the test.
2) Crisis reveals character.
3) Respond well. How you respond shapes who you become.
4) Trust is square one of any relationship. Waiting shows us the quality of our trust.
5) Don’t waste the wait. Let it show you why (not just how much) you want what you want.
Waiting is so important, it has been assigned a number throughout scripture. Moses spent 40 days on Sinai, twice. The Israelites wandered in the dessert for 40 years. The Book of Exodus is divided into 40 chapters. Jonah warned a rebellious Nineveh for 40 days. Elijah fasted 40 days, as did Jesus.
The band U2 wrote a song called “40” based on these two famous promises of scripture:
“…those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31)
“…I waited patiently for the Lord, He incline and hear my cry” (Psalm 40:1)
What benefit, perhaps only in hindsight, have you found in the waiting place?