The older I get, the more I am convinced that Dr. Seuss had it all figured out. If you want to understand our environmental predicament, read “The Lorax.” If you want an ode to the imagination, go after “And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street.” And if you want to know about life, dreams, and what it is to try to get through it all, read “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”
I know “The Waiting Place” better than I’d like to. I venture out, explore, reflect, live in the moment, but sooner or later, I recognize it. I’ve circled back to the waiting place. As much as I try to be my own man; as much as I try to be open to God’s voice and direction; as much as I try to be open to the Universe, God and the Universe move at their own pace, not mine. And so, the waiting.
It can be a habit. But waiting doesn’t have to be just sitting around. I can wait actively. I am not in prison. And even in prison, there are role models for how to wait.
Andy Dufresne, of Shawshank Redemption fame, had more meaningful adventures behind bars than most free men have. But he came to a point where he realized it was time to make a change, even at the cost of his life. I realize there are movies and books that I come back to a good bit, and Shawshank will likely continue to be one of them. Andy’s “get busy living, or get busy dying,” sticks in my soul as a life mantra. A reminder.
Dufresne and Louis Goldstein could have been peeps. The only words I remember from my Washington College graduation were Goldstein’s, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” That was his take on “God helps those who help themselves.” Maybe you’re in the waiting place, well, get up and do something about it, or don’t expect to move very far.
When we are in the waiting place, we can feel stuck. Or I can. And part of that reason is because we know the waiting place. We can get comfortable waiting. We know what it feels like. So we hang on. And by hanging on, we make ourselves stuck. It’s by letting go that we move on in the direction we are supposed to go.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu
So we need to let go. Be unanchored. Undone. Untethered. We need to start. To start something new, to create. In the letting go, in the creating, what we need is to create, to begin our lives anew. Each day.
To speak of creativity is to speak of profound intimacy. It is also to speak of our connecting to the Divine in us and of our bringing the Divine back to the community. This is true whether we understand our creativity to be begetting and nourishing our children, making music, doing theater, gardening, teaching, running a business, painting, constructing houses, or sharing the healing arts of medicine and therapy. – Matthew Fox (the minister, author of “Original Blessing,” not the actor from “Lost”)
We get out of the waiting place by being ourselves, differently. By opening ourselves to creativity. By creating our lives. By being inspired and doing something with that inspiration. By allowing God to light a spark in us and being consumed by the spark of Divine inspiration.