Dr Seuss Hated this Place…

The great philosopher, Dr Seuss, once wrote a book called “Oh, the Places you’ll Go!” After “Green Eggs and Ham”, which I read so often to my children, that they can just about recite it ten years later, this is my favourite children’s book. It’s the story of a little character going off to ‘Great Places’. It’s the story of you and me.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

All goes well with little Bixby as he navigates out of the crowd, into the wide-open places, where things really happen.

“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”

But then…

“You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in the Lurch. You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are then, that you’ll be in a Slump.”

Confusing, dark streets, lead to ‘long wiggled roads’, which end up in—according to Dr Seuss—“a most useless place. The Waiting Place”.

Here is where I part ways with Dr Seuss, for even though I am one of those people, “Waiting for the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No,” I would have to say that waiting is far from useless.

For me the “Waiting Place” has been somewhere to slow down and take stock. It’s a place where I am faced with my own limitations and am forced to turn to the limitless One.

Because of this, the Waiting Place has become a fertile field where new shoots are growing, somewhat like ground forced to lie fallow for a season. I don’t even recognise all these budding plants yet, but some I do—patience, faith, and determination. Maybe the one I value the most though, is joy. I am learning that there is plenty of joy to be found in my small, everyday life, amongst the small, beautiful people around me. I am finally learning to be content.

Although I still have periods of frustration, I am starting to understand that waiting is actually a gift from God.

“So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”


Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All Quotes from Dr Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”

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  1. Claire Firman

    Thank you Joan – the waiting place and the slowing down place. I have been thinking about this lately. We need this so much in our busy lives. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Bronwyn Francis

    Jacqui Rivas recently shared a similar message. The Sat between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The waiting on a Saturday. Has stuck with me x

  3. Lovely – I enjoy waiting at times- probably far too much though. But in this Joburg, we are really bereft of thinking time. And an unreflected life is one not worth living, as one of the great past Christians has said. We need to reflect on where we are going wrong, what we are doing right etc.

    • Joan Campbell

      So true! I keep getting that message about slowing down to reflect. Busyness really steals our peace, I think.

  4. Nicole Anderson

    Very well put! The Waiting Place in my own life tends to be fought against a little too often, I am ashamed to say, and I usually end up in a worse place in the end. Time to allow the field of my heart to lie fallow and for the limitless One to plant the seeds He wants to grow in my heart. Thanks for the wake up!

    • Joan Campbell

      Nicole, I struggle with it too–the reason I try to work through it in my writing. Some days are better than others. God bless!

  5. Diana Agbayani

    Thank you for reminding me about the waiting place,

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