Friday, September 6, 2013

Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss: The Waiting Place

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

Life is full of infinite possibilities. 
Or at least it seems like that when we start out on the journey.

After a few bumps—and a few slumps—and a lot of travel—we find ourselves in the Waiting Place, which Dr. Seuss describes as “a most useless place.”

It’s filled with people. People who are waiting.
            Waiting for a train to go
            or a bus to come, or a plane to go
            or the mail to come,  or the rain to go
            or waiting around for a Yes or No
            or waiting for their hair to grow.
            Everyone is just waiting.

I agree with Dr. Seuss.  It is a useless place.
I know because I’ve been there.

I started off my journey with lots of dreams. Someday I was going to travel. Go on a mission trip. Lots of mission trips. Learn Spanish. Get a Master’s Degree. Teach at a university. Write a book. Someday.

The thing is, nothing ever changes in the waiting place. Nothing is ever quite right. And so we stay. In the Waiting Place. Waiting.

I got very discouraged in the Waiting Place. I started to forget my dreams. It didn’t seem like my life had any purpose. And I asked God, “Why doesn’t anything ever happen?”

And God said, “Move.”

He didn’t say where to move. How to move. How fast to move. Just move.
And so I started moving.
Every step was hard.
Was I moving in the right direction?
Was I doing the right things? Was I making the right decisions?

What if I did something wrong?
The thing is, once we start moving, God starts directing us.
That’s what He did for Abraham.
That’s what He’s doing for me.
That’s what He’ll do for you.

Moving in new directions means sometimes I don’t know how things will turn out, and I’m sorry, Dr. Seuss’s 98 and ¾ percent guarantee doesn’t always mean things turn out the way I want them to.

Sometimes I panic because I think I will fail.
Sometimes I panic because I don’t know what will happen next.
Sometimes I panic because moving ahead is hard.
Moving means I encounter challenges I would never have experienced in the waiting place.

But I don’t go back.

Along the way, God says,
Trust me. Keep moving.
I have plans, but you need to get ready for them. Stay close to me.
Listen carefully, and I let you know which way to turn.
I will create a pathway for you.
Not someday. But now.
Even if you can’t see where you’re going, I can.
The journey is long. 
Trust me.

And so I keep moving.
At times the pace seems incredibly slow, but I am no longer in the waiting place.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 
1 Peter 1:3-5

For more Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss, check out Newbreak Church's sermon series titled Whoville.

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