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On Waiting and Racing

Of all the works of Dr. Seuss, these words on the “the useless space” of waiting are perhaps my favorite to quote.

Everyone is just…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 the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting around for a Yes or No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

While I love Dr. Seuss, I am learning that my life has not been filled with waiting as much as it has been filled with racing. Pressure. Goals. To-do lists that are brimming over as well as a list of the consequences – both real and imagined – that would result should I fail to finish the tasks and check the boxes. My translation of Seuss’ “useless place” is:

Everyone is just racing

Racing for a ride to catch

or a risk to take or a plan to hatch

or a job to do or a bill to pay

or a goal to set or a call to take

Pushing through the Sabbath stops,

racing to avoid a loss

working to impress the boss

Everyone is just…racing

Goals are good, I suppose, as long as reaching them does not eclipse the enjoyment in achieving them. Purpose is great, yes, as long as it doesn’t outshine the need for absorbing His presence. As believers, we have a certain amount of time here to create and cultivate something wonderful – but without His active and intimate presence in our lives, we will only reproduce worthless things, crafted in our own chaotic image.

Two things I am finding that are being created in our lives because of this battle we are fighting with Steve’s health:

  1. An innate awareness that the clock is ticking and that we need to live intentionally and accomplish His will in the time we’ve been given.
  2. An equally passionate resolve that the clock is ticking and we need to take the time to stop, behold and enjoy the gifts He’s given.

I saw the second one manifest itself when ten inches of snow fell overnight and we made the nearly-immediate decision not to battle it, but to stay home and enjoy it – and each other – instead.  We hunkered down and built fires in both fireplaces.  We ate soup and chocolate cake and just absorbed the abundance of our real, right-now lives and I’m so glad we did because it’s now a lovely memory and a great snapshot for our kids of what home looks like.  I’m nearly certain we wouldn’t have made the same decision six months ago, but it was a no-brainer today and I think most people would agree that we made the right choice…that we deserve to seize our moments and make them count.

But, don’t you deserve that too?

Here’s a way to answer that question: take a quick look at your kids’ baby pictures. Now look at your actual present-day kids. Clocks, they are a-ticking, my friend. Don’t wait to love your life.

Waiting on Racing,


February 16, 2011 - 6:45 am

Tami - So true Bo! This past year has been just this for me…enjoy the life I am living instead of the life I wish to make eventually. We still have a crazy schedule with four active, involved kids and two working parents but it has been a much richer year indeed. We also hunkered down yesterday and it was wonderful!

February 16, 2011 - 6:58 am

Heather Sutter - That is really good, Bo! Excellent reminder, thank you! Crazy how you guys were having snow and we were having sunny 50’s! But there was a moment in our day when i made the conscious decision and physical effort to lay aside what i was doing to play with the kids. It is something i’ve been trying to improve, and your post really brought home some good points that will be with me from now on!

(PS, you could be the next Dr Seuss!)

February 16, 2011 - 11:07 am

molly Stern - Once again, well said, well done!

February 16, 2011 - 12:40 pm

Gayle - i was sent a connection to your site…I just read the ‘racing’ thing! Good! And we both know that only He is truly good…so everything He does is good…and what you gave me in this note is very good…thanks for writing…but mostly for listening to Him for His good!

February 16, 2011 - 6:18 pm

Vangi - Oh, I just love you. There. One way today I am loving my life: enjoying my sweet Bo and thanking God for her beautiful fire from across a few miles.

Praying from my SE Asia balcony / laundry room frequently for you. A lovely thing.

February 21, 2011 - 10:14 am

Jeannie - His faithfulness is endless …
His beauty if unimaginable …
His glory is unfathomable …

And your writings always serve to remind me that He is God and I am not. To revel in the week, the day, the hour, the minute, the second … this is, to each of us, a reminder of the richness of our lives, despite the hard things we are fighting, but also an admonishment to live it to it’s fullest. Half-hearted, haphazard is not good enough … each minute is a blessing and a gift. Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Bo. You are a treasure!

February 22, 2011 - 10:27 am

Cathy Wood - Hi Bo!!
What a great message for all of us! Thanks for sharing. Still praying for your family. Love ya Cathy