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Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Beckett’


(KJV Scripture)

– And saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were since the beginning of creation.” – 2 Peter 3:4

– “What are we doing here?  That is the question – and we are blessed in this – that we happen to know the answer.  Yes, in the immense confusion – one thing alone is clear.  We are waiting for Godot to come.” – “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot was written by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.  It debuted to the French public in 1953.  Some have called it a performance where absolutely nothing happens – and yet the audience is glued to their seats.  They’re so completely captivated by it – some have a hard time leaving after it’s over.

Our lives on earth can seem like much of the same – much of the time. Nothing really happens – and yet our entire days can be often be filled with it.  We either feel captivated by life – or we feel like we’re being held captive; and we’re waiting for someone to come and set us free from our prison.  Regardless, we have a hard time leaving when it’s over.

Estragon and Vladimir are the two main characters in the play. The whole plot centers on the pair’s waiting for a mysterious man by the name of Godot.  They’ve never seen him, they don’t know what he even looks like – and they have no idea at what time he is supposed to arrive; or if he’s even coming at all.

However, it seems important enough for them to show up where they do – by a solitary tree upon a hill.  Whatever the meeting is going to be about – they have not been told.  Whatever it is, seems far better than anything they’re currently doing – or might do anytime soon.  Godot has somehow chosen to meet these two over everyone else – it must be that something good is awaiting.

They try all kinds of things to bide their time – in the meantime. It’s interrupted by a man named Pozzo – who they mistake as Godot. Vladimir then sings a song about a world the two feel trapped in. He begins to see in the midst of the tune – that although there is a notional evidence of time’s linear progression – he basically feels like he is living the same day over and over.

Near the end of the first act – a boy with no name arrives on the scene. The young lad tells Estragon and Vladimir he is a messenger from Godot.  Godot will not be arriving that day as they expected – but he will certainly be there tomorrow.  After the boy departs, they make a preliminary decision to leave – but make no real effort to do so.

What are they going to do if they do depart?  Where will they go?  What happens if Godot shows up right after they leave? What will they possibly miss out on?  Waiting for Godot seems like the most exciting thing to happen in some time. This action is repeated at the end of Act 2 – as the final curtain falls.

The Christian symbolism of Waiting for Godot is clearly evident – although Beckett continually denied any connections until his death in 1989.  It takes place on a hill – the two wait near a solitary tree.  Many believe this represents Calvary and the Cross.  Estragon and Vladimir have a discussion about the two thieves hanging next to Jesus from Luke (Luke 23:39-43).

Regardless of its true meaning, which Beckett took to his grave, the pair wait in vain for Godot to show – and he never does. Maybe this man of mystery was going to save them from their seemingly wretched lives . The two talk about suicide by hanging themselves during one scene – as a way out.  Maybe Godot was going to offer them a better choice.

God promised to send Christ back again with salvation (Revelation 12:10).  Only He knows when (Mark 13:32).  It could be today, tomorrow – or 100 years from now (Matthew 24:14).  Still we wait – or do we?  Do some believe this waiting has been in vain?  When Jesus went to Jericho, there were many then who thought the kingdom of God should immediately appear – and that was over 2,000 years ago (Luke 19:11).

Just like the boy in the play – have there been too many so-called messengers from God (Jeremiah 23:21) since the dawn of creation, telling us with certainty when He was coming to meet with us again – and He didn’t (2 Peter 1:20)?  Things are much the same as they’ve always been (lead verse).  Crying wolf too many times can cause too many people not to listen anymore.

Beckett wrote a play – God gave us His promise.  It’s why He sent us His only Son.  To defeat death, our bondage from birth – and give us the only hope of freeing ourselves from its sentence (Hebrews 2:9-15, Hebrews 9:27, 2 Corinthians 1:9).  What are we doing then while we wait for God – if we are still really doing so at all?

Do we keep pondering this promise – or are we teaching others about it?  If we are Christians, then we are to be preaching God’s Word – being instant, in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  Not waiting or hesitating – or just hanging around as if we’re the only ones who have a meeting with Him .

In his book “The Mountains Echoed”, author Khaled Hosseini wrote, “Of all the hardships a person had to face – none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”  Waiting for anyone can be very hard sometimes – especially when they say they’re coming to get us – and we really don’t know when.  What do we do in the meantime?

Do we just bide our time with mostly idle conversations and trivial pursuits – like Estragon and Vladimir did while waiting for Godot?  As believers, we can’t do this.  We can’t hang around – not doing much of anything else – while we’re waiting for God. It’s not why He hung His only Son on the Cross for us.

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