Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Waiting Is A Part Of Life

Two men are waiting for a person named Godot. They are on a stage with a shriveled tree trunk waiting.  He never arrives. Who is Godot?  Or is it what is Godot? These words begin the column Word and Silence in the Catholic Peace Weekly. 

The play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket  is a parable of the never ending waiting in life. The two main characters with blank expressions  are waiting for Godot and  don't know why. They are not even sure of the time and place. Moreover, they don't even know if there is an agreement to meet. Like an old habit, they are just waiting. What in the world is Godot? Is it God, bread, liberty, hope? The author does not give an answer.

Suddenly, the new year approaches in our thoughts and we wait. The trees lose their leaves and wait for spring. On the streets, volunteers are waiting for contributions to help the needy. In the church the advent candles are lit, crib and carols are sung waiting for the one who is to come. We also have many who take to the streets with candles in their hands hopefully waiting.

What are we waiting for? Wanting the president to retire?  Getting rid of useless and harmful systems and practices? Are we waiting for Christmas?  The kingdom which Jesus proclaimed? For a light to overcome the darkness? For liberty and salvation?

Even with the change of the ruling power, the cozy relations between big business and government and corruption continues. "He will make justice dawn for you like the light" (Ps.37:6). Is this only a dream? 

We have waited for a new way of doing politics,  a new nation, a new era but it always ends in frustration. When the weeds are removed they return to the same spot. For a moment we see light, which quickly returns to darkness. Darkness will not easily disappear. It's not only our failure to pick a good leader. Something  more than changing persons and structures is needed.

When the light comes does the darkness recede? Light has already come and will come again. Darkness is there because of the darkness we have in ourselves. We are submissive to power we are attracted to money and its desire.

Society will change to the degree that I pray. The light that I have in myself will be that which will shine and decrease the darkness. The  work and effort that I expend to get rid of immorality and corruption will determine the results.

At the end of the play a youth appears and tells the two men that Godot will not come today, he will come tomorrow. The waiting  was useless but  one can not forget the  promise that was given. We will wait again tomorrow. " In all this chaos there is one certainty we are waiting for Godot."

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