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

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