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Step Out of the Waiting Places

Opportunity Fear Complacency

Source: “The Best Lesson That Dr. Seuss Taught Us: Stay Out of the Waiting Place” by AJ Juliani, posted, retrieved 3/23/15

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-25

Author: AJ Julian


An education blogger recently posted a very poignant lesson learned from, none other than, the eternally wise Dr. Seuss:

Sure, he wrote “kids books”, but I never doubt for a moment the lessons his books can teach us adults as well. Dr. Seuss urges kids (and all of us) to stay out of the waiting place…

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people 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 a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

AJ Juliani is founder and chief-editor of Education Is My Life and The Best & Next in Education. He currently work as an Education and Technology Innovation Specialist.


Julian observes that it takes a combination of great curiosity AND great courage to step out of the “waiting” places and into the realm of unknown possibilities and opportunities. Indeed, fear and complacency can be equally paralyzing.

One can go through life waiting for opportunities to come their way…but chances are slim that they will unless you go out and grab them yourself. Now I try to live my life with courage, looking for opportunities and giving myself time to be curious. … Don’t let yourself stay in that waiting place. Be curious. Be courageous.

“He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus” (Mathew 14:29).

“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:6, NLT).

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT).

Michael Cain Gets His First Break

Opportunity Servanthood Honor

Source: THE ELEPHANT TO HOLLYWOOD by Michael Caine, p. 46

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Contributed By: Keith Jones | Date Posted: 2015-02-25

Scripture: Matthew 23:11

Author: Keith Jones / Illustration Exchange


Actor Michael Caine is quite humble when he tells about how he got his first break.  As a struggling unknown, Michael Caine once went to the last resort of starving actors: a casting agency run by a man named Ronnie Curtis. As Caine tells it:

"Ronnie was very cross-eyed, so when he came out, pointed at us and said, ‘You' - three of us stood up. This did not seem to throw him at all - I suppose he was used to it. Then he asked, ‘What size is your chest?' Each of us still thought he was addressing us alone, so we answered in unison with our chest sizes. ‘Who said forty?' he asked, and I put my hand up. Now I knew how Marilyn Monroe felt. ‘What's your inside leg measurement?' he demanded. ‘Thirty-two,' I replied. His eyes lit up. ‘Perfect. Come on,' he said, beckoning me into his small office. 

"When I got inside he explained that I would be playing a policeman in a small film the next day. I had been cast because I fit the uniform that the company already had in their wardrobe."


It's impossible to know why God casts you for the roles you get in life. Is it because of all of the potential He sees in you--your latent talent, or did you simply fit the need of the moment? In the end, it didn't really matter for Michael Cain. Fitting the need of the moment led to the discovery of his great talent. And so it is for us.

Don't concern yourself with the honors you imagine you deserve. Instead, make yourself a servant. Allow yourself to be the one who fills the need of the moment, and God will see to it that you fulfill all of your wonderful potential.

"The greatest among you will be your servant" (Matthew 23:11).

( Application Supplied By Illustration Exchange)

The Role of a Lifetime

Regret Opportunity Servanthood

Source: "Hollywood Miscalculations: 5 Famous Actors and the Roles They Turned Down" by Ransom Riggs

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-05

Scripture: Colosians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange


Cary Grant turned down director Robert Broccoli's offer to play James Bond. Regret it? Not so much. He already had a great career and would not have had time to do more than a single film. An ongoing franchise would have been out of the question. Broccoli ended up with Sean Connery who turned the franchise into a veritable brand.

Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in THE MATRIX. Regret it? He says no. “I would have absolutely messed it up." Smith went on to explain, "At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be—whereas Keanu was.” At least he's "smart enough" now to see that.

Michael Madsen turned down the role of Vincent Vega in the highly acclaimed film PULP FICTION. Instead, John Travolta famously took the role and re-launched his career into the stratosphere. Did Michael regret it? Michael "Who?" Nuff said.

Sean Connery, who so fortuitously won the role of Bond, went on to have a glorious career. When offered the role of Gandalf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS he declined. Regret it? You betcha. Not because he needed more notoriety, but because he passed on the perk of 15 percent of the worldwide box office receipts. Had he played the role he would have pocketed as much as $400 million!

Hollywood heartthrob Steve McQueen turned down the role of Sundance in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID because Paul Newman wouldn't give him top billing (if he had, would the movie have been called THE SUNDANCE KID AND BUTCH CASSIDY?). He later turned down the role of Popeye Doyle in THE FRENCH CONNECTION, much to the delight of Gene Hackman who won an Oscar for the role.

Finally, McQueen also turned down Francis Ford Coppola's offer to film APOCALYPSE NOW because he wouldn't budge on his $3 million per movie take on the deal. Martin Sheen was happy to fill the void, to the delight of critics worldwide. Regret it? Who knows. McQueen seemed determined to live his life on his own terms. He left his mark on Hollywood in his short life, but may have gone down as one of the greatest ever he had ventured through these other doors of opportunity.


These great "stars" are not the only ones who have been offered the "role of a lifetime," only to walk away empty handed. Each and every one of us has been offered the role not only of a lifetime, but one that promises to impact eternity itself.

The Director of the Universe wants to make you a star performer in your own sequel to THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. It's the story of how God's love has radically changed your heart. It's a story of how this new transformed you becomes a channel of love and grace by battling the dark forces of need and despair. It's a story that will be viewed with great interest by this world as well as the one to come. Will you accept the role of a lifetime? Or will you live (and die) to regret it?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).

Eleventh Hour Salvation

Salvation Opportunity Procrastination

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2013-10-28

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: Fred Gates

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Build A Life

Wisdom Opportunity Jesus Christ

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-08-17

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:11

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Ten Books Equal Astronomical Possibilities

Opportunity God's Will Decision Making

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-06

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Best Time To Love Is Now

Love (Divine) Opportunity Time Management

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-29

Scripture: Galatians 6:10 ; Ephesians 5:16

Author: Rick Warren

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Tossing Jack's Beans Out the Window

Mistakes Opportunity God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-20

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Martha Brockenbrough

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2,598,960 Possibilities

Opportunity Potential Stewardship

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-06-15

Scripture: Romans 8:28

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Bible Distribution Gets the Royal Treatment

Evangelism Boldness Opportunity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-03

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9

Author: Illustration Exchange

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