In My Father's House

Poems, Prayers, Inspirations, Photos and Musings about life, love and what it means to be a child of the Father

Thursday, August 25, 2005

There will Be (No) Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

Jesus said to his disciples: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
(Mt 24:42-51)

No one knows for sure when the Lord will come. It could be this very minute, later this evening, next week or in the next century. So what is the point of waiting? Shouldn't we be better off spending our time doing something else? Why wait for someone or something that we are not sure when to arrive?

To this we have an answer in the mouth of Vladimir, one of the characters of Samuel Becket's Two-Act play Waiting for Godot.

Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? (Estragon says nothing.) It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species. The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflection, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets. But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come—
Or for night to fall. (Pause.) We have kept our appointment and that's an end to that. We are not saints, but we have kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?
Perhaps it is not really the waiting nor the waited upon that matters most. It is the fidelity and love with which we wait that really is important. While waiting, we are asked, how much love have we put in the act of waiting?

And perhaps, when we have arrived at the place of the final destination, when we have truly loved not only the waited upon but the act of waiting itself, when we have shown the true character of our soul, whether the waited upon arrived or not, there would be no wailing and gnashing of teeth. Let us certainly hope so.


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