What The Play “Waiting For Godot’ Taught Me!


I don’t remember much from my eleventh grade English class, but I do remember reading “Waiting for Godot!” It is a famous play that was written by Samuel Beckett, which premiered in 1953. It was voted “the most significant English language play of the twentieth century”. I distinctly recall that my English teacher read the play, out loud, to the class. I remember “Waiting for Godot” because I thought it was possibly the most boring play that a man could have written. And when the teacher had finished torturing us by reading it aloud, I recall thinking it was quite possibly the most pointless story I had ever heard. I guess I never “got it”. Perhaps I was just too “normal” to see the imagery of it all. Much later in life I found out that the play itself was a lesson on the meaningless nature of life. With its repetitive narrative and depressing pointless story of two men waiting together for the arrival of someone called “Godot”, who never showed up. “Waiting for Godot”, to me, is an ode to all men who don’t understand that there is a plan of happiness.

“We wait. We are bored. (He throws up his hand) No, don’t protest, we are bored to death, there’s no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste…In an instant all will vanish and we’ll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!”- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot.

The above lines are typical of the play’s dialogue, which consist of two characters passing the time in small talk, while waiting for Godot to arrive. Their conversation centers around the pointlessness of their lives and the anticipation of the arrival of Godot, which never comes. Thousands of critics have written about this play, with interpretations regarding the “deep” nature of its meaning. And perhaps, I might add, it is deeper than I originally thought, seeing as it is the only play I can recall reading in high school some 40 odd years now past. Perhaps you have read or seen this play; perhaps not. I still wouldn’t recommend it, yet, I learned from it. The nature of its message is depressing and gives one the impression that our lives are of no real worth. I believe Mr. Beckett expressed the feelings of many who travel through life in search of its “meaning” and come away “waiting…..waiting….waiting” but never finding. I learned from the play, that I was not like “most men”.

I have never felt that way because “Godot” arrived early in my life. I was taught that God loved me, and that my life had purpose. I was taught by my parents about the life of Christ and the joy of the restoration of His gospel in these, the latter days.  I was taught that I was a son of a Divine Being. I was taught regarding the plan of happiness and that I could be a partaker of it. I was taught, almost from infancy, that my life had meaning. I have never been found waiting…waiting…waiting for “Godot”. I feel for those that do! But those of us who know of the plan of salvation know that this life is a time of probation. Yes, it can at times, be trying and our patience is often tested. But when we understand that attributes such as long-suffering, patience and endurance are attributes of our Heavenly Father, we can understand what the waiting is all about. It’s not about waiting for “Godot”, it’s about “Godot” waiting for us!

So be not discouraged; we have not been abandoned by our loving Father! He monitors us patiently like a mother who awaits the development of her unborn child. She doesn’t want her child being born prematurely, knowing it needs the proper time to be nourished in the womb. So it is for us. We are still embryo’s being nourished in this life. Let us not be too impatient with the process!

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